Bonfires (Lily G’s Review)

Title: Bonfires
Author: Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 9th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
Reviewed by: Lily G. Blunt
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 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 50 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.

This is a tale of two men with teenage children who find love in their late-forties, of finding the courage to come out to the local community, and the impact that responsible and also homophobic adults can have on children’s lives.  It’s a story of second chances for love, families, and individuals. It’s Amy Lane, so of course it is well-written, with superbly presented characters and situations. The dramatic climax was an especially intense scene and kept me riveted.

Larx and Aaron’s relationship is the main focus of the story and their romance made a refreshing change because they’re older guys; one is bisexual and in his first relationship with a man. It’s sort of insta-love although they’ve known each other for a few years, but they’ve suddenly hit it off. Their love-making scenes are particularly hot. I especially liked the roles the teenage children, the sheriff, and the vice-principal played in the story, and how they saw right through what was going on with Larks and Aaron, giving them undivided support and encouragement.

Isaiah and Kellan’s story was sweet and heartbreaking. It sort of fizzled out, so I’m hoping for a sequel to let us know what happens to them.

So, there’s lots of positives here, and yet the story didn’t completely bowl me over and make me want to listen again. There seemed to be too much drama and conflict hitting the ‘good guys’ and my attention drifted during some of the dialogue.

The narration by Nick J Russo was superb as always. He has the knack of drawing the listener into a story and sets the tone for every scene perfectly.

Bonfires Series

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Review Copy

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


Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men's feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page. There never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing! Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon and later published short stories with Torquere Press, Wayward Ink Publishing, and Pride Publishing.