A Coal Miner’s Son (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: A Coal Miner’s Son (States of Love)
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 4, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 107
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

James Callahan is the only son of Nicholas Callahan, owner of the Willow Hollow mine in West Virginia—but he’s never considered himself any better than the miners. He’s best friends with Owain Rees, one of the miners’ kids, and he’s been attracted to Cai, Owain’s older brother, for years. James gets the feeling he might not be the only one sensing the tension between them, but Cai avoids him religiously.

Cai has been working the mine since he was sixteen. He acknowledges James is cute, but he’s grown up privileged while Cai’s family has always been working class, and Cai fears that chasm is too wide to cross. When family drama pushes them together, will Cai and James see they’re more alike than they realized?

Take a leap of faith as two men from different worlds, employer and employee, rich and poor, discover that love transcends social barriers.

James Callahan has always felt a kinship to Willow Hollow, its hardworking coal miners and their families and the beautiful West Virginia countryside, but it seems some people don’t trust the son of the boss. Unfortunately, the man James has always been attracted to – Cai Rees, the older brother of his best friend Owain – is one of them. But throughout the book, a crisis with the mining company and a Rees family emergency draws the two men closer.

T.A. Chase does a beautiful job of describing the close-knit Appalachian community pulling together to help one another. The story of the community putting Bronwen Rees throughout medical school, with her promising to return as Willow Hollow’s doctor, is very touching. I also liked the Rees family and their family dynamic. However I felt the on-page chemistry between Cai and James was lacking and their relationship was undeveloped.

They share one brief kiss around 45%, and suddenly Cai and James are calling each other “honey” and “sweetheart” and a level of emotional intimacy suddenly appears without any time together or shared experiences. There is an epilogue and a HEA, but these two men come from such different worlds and backgrounds and we don’t see any of the work that got them to their HEA.
Finally, nitpicker alert, in one scene there are three dogs, then suddenly only one, then back to three. My rating for A Coal Miner’s Son is 3.25 stars, and while I enjoyed the plot and the setting, I felt the romantic relationship needed more depth.

State of Love series

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Galley copy of A Coal Miner’s Son provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader