Bonfires (Renee’s review)

Title: Bonfires
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 24, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 280
Reviewed by: Renee
Heat Level:  3.5 flames out of 5
Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.

Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.

It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.

I’ve been trying to write this review for two days, and I’m resigning myself to the fact that it’s just gonna have to be subpar.

Bonfires is a story about family. Just like Deacon and Crick had a lot of “other” things going on in Keeping Promise Rock, there’s a lot of happenings in this book. And it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just know that Lane made this book realistic in that aspect.

Aaron George is a deputy sheriff in Small Town, USA, and Larx is the high school principal. Both were in their late 40s – and I really dug that. They are both bi and have teenage children.

There was an awesome friends to lover component to this story. The first part of the book was them becoming friends and getting comfortable around each other to start with the “zings” of banter. It was delicious, and the UST was palpable.

The second part of the book dealt more with dealing with drama (and not the bad kind) with small town life. Hell, maybe just life in general. Aaron had a murder to solve. Larx had the quintessential Mean Girl to deal with who was literally terrorizing some of the high school students. And then they were both trying to find time for each other while introducing their kids to a new relationship.

It was a beautiful story, and I just wish there was a little less going on and more on the relationship. But that’s just a personal preference.

As far as the Lane angst scale – this one was lighter. Not fluffy at all, but not angst and pain, Amy Lane, either.


Bonfires Series


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Galley copy of Bonfires provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


I love boys who love boys! I'm in my 30s, from the southern US, and my crack is m/m romance.