Title: Lord of a Thousand Steps (Love in Laguna #4)
Author: Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Release Date: December 12th 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
Reviewed by: Lily G. Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5
To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.
Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.
When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.
I’ve listened to the other stories in the series and and was pleased to see Ian (Jim’s younger brother from #2) as one of the main characters in this tale. We also get to see quite a bit of Jim and Ken, and Shaz and Billy (from #1) make an appearance near the end of the story. So although this story can be seen as a standalone, I think it’s far better to know who these characters are and how they connect.
I enjoyed this story almost as much as my favourite one in the series (#1). It’s relatively low-angst with a couple of my favourite tropes: age-gap and friends/work colleagues to lovers.
Ian is a great guy. Very charismatic and great with kids and people in general. He’s already a talented architect even though he is currently only an intern. (All the main characters in this series happen to be fabulous at what they do!) Ian comes across as more mature than his twenty-one years. His main wish in life is to be part of a family and he certainly fits in well with the Braden Lord and his children. My heart went out to Ian each time he received a text or phone call from Rico, his absent boyfriend. I still have many questions regarding Rico and his motives.
Braden has recently divorced his wife after finally coming out and is in a nasty custody battle with his ex. And although I don’t tend to like stories featuring children, his two kids are a plus in this story. In fact, I really liked his fourteen year old son, JoJo. At one point I thought he was falling for Ian and wondered if that would cause some conflict between Ian and Braden.
Braden’s wife causes the most conflict through her demands and actions, although her drama sort of fizzles out and didn’t get as bad as I expected it would.
Ian’s cat has an important role in bringing Ian and Braden, along with his children, together. There are plenty of feel-good and amusing moments to balance the more angsty, emotional ones. The romance is a slow build with several problems and other goings-on that delay our guys from getting it together. And when they do hook-up for the first time, I was a little surprised. And having kids around the house did hamper their sex life, but so is life for families!
KC Kelly has a lovely voice for narration and his pace is always steady and makes any story easy listening for me. His voices for the characters are well suited and he portrays the emotion and passion fittingly for this story.