Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 24th Mar, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary, Crime/murder, Second Chance
Page Count: 280
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.75 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.
Whatever Amy Lane writes, I love, be it fluff, angst, mystery or just plain old romance. Her characters have real heart in them and they make a huge impact on me everytime I read them. Bonfires is Ms. Lane’s latest brilliant concoction that just completely stole my heart.
What I absolutely loved about this book was its MCs, who are two mature men in their late 40s, falling in love at a time in their lives when “their libido have mostly closed up shop”. This book beautifully showed that love can come knocking even when you are pushing 50 and when romance is not one of your life’s priorities.
“One glimpse of that glistening, tan back, those rangy shoulders, the sweat-slicked black hair, and his libido woke up and started to pray to Cialis, goddess of horny middle-aged men.”
This is a second chance romance at its best. I loved the entire feel of it. There are trials, bigots, small town mindedness, murders and even bullies so except the romance, there is a lot happening here to keep you hooked.
Our main MCs here are Aaron George, the deputy of the town and principal Lyman Larkin or Larx to everyone. They have known each other for years but one day when Aaron sees Larx running with his shirt off, his unexpected but overwhelming attraction towards Larx smacks him right on the face. Aaron and George then hit it off as they start running together, falling in love and integrating their lives together as best as they could.
“They were grown men, nearing fifty, but it didn’t feel ludicrous at all. Every touch, every whisper, every shiver between them was brand-new. It wasn’t young love—it was worse, bigger, more painful. They’d lost before. They knew the dangers of love. And they fell anyway.”
Aaron and Larx have families and their romance comes with the added element of their children’s acceptance and support. They were upfront about their new relationship with their kids and I loved how both of their kids take this huge change in their dad’s lives as well as theirs, in stride while being so very accepting and supportive. They were the best kids in the world.
As I said before there is a lot to look forward to in this book. Apart from the romance, there is also a murder mystery and a violent hate crime that forms an intriguing backdrop to the story highlighting on a number of issues like bigotry, racism, hate crime and bullying. It all comes together nicely as the MCs fight for the safety of the school kids, spread awareness and puts entitled, homophobic, rich people in their places.
The story ends in an HEA as Aaron and Larx cement their relationship with abundance of love and hope while also facing new challenges as parents together.
The only end of the race in life was literally the end of the life. Other people, family, friends, career—there would always be hurdles. But Larx had someone next to him to help him over the high ones and who would need help himself.
And the challenges, the stresses, the pain of watching their older children repeat their parents’ mistakes, or possibly make bigger ones of their own—those weren’t ever going away.
But Larx and Aaron could face them with a little more surety.
Because they were “we.”
Rumors are afoot that this book is a start of a series so there is a lot to look forward to in the future from Ms. Lane regards to this series. I am praying that the next one will be about Kellan and Isaiah. I adored this couple and would love to see them live their HEA very much.