Title: High Lonesome
Author: Tanya Chris
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, M/M/M Ménage, Mystery
Page Count: 186 pages
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Joe doesn’t live on top of a mountain because he loves people. A late summer snowstorm is the perfect chance to send his customers down to lower altitude and enjoy a few days of solo strolls and fireside naps.
Tanner’s not staying at a high-altitude hut to admire the scenery. He’s got a date to keep with the sort of person you don’t want to disappoint, a date that’ll result in him earning some much-needed cash in exchange for what’s left of his self-respect. But that’s OK. He gave up on self-respect when he picked up the needle anyway.
Pyotr didn’t drop into a blizzard to rescue Tanner or to drag Joe back down to the real world. His mission is a lot colder than that. People are only pawns, and spies are only heroes to those who don’t know them.
Hermit, addict, spy. Three men, one snowstorm, zero reason to trust. And someone’s coming …
Content warning: this book contains on-page heroin use and detox. A brief argument follows the reveal of a character’s HIV status.
Blurb summarizes the plot fairly well: Working at the hut High Lonesome, Joe is escaping a past he’d rather not think about, preferring the anonymity of nameless hook-ups where the person leaves the next morning. With a storm blowing in, Joe discovers Tanner’s group has left him behind, then realizes Tanner was never part of the mountain climbing club. The emaciated, pale boy/man has all the signs of what Joe left behind. Tanner is on the mountain in a desperate attempt to secure cash for his drug habit and senses a kindred soul in Joe. As the August storm bears down, Peter appears seemingly out of nowhere, a man on a mission that involves Tanner and some missing documents.
I enjoyed this with some caveats –
Why Tanner, sickly and an addict, would bring out Joe’s and Peter’s protective natures. Joe is intimately familiar with the battle Tanner is facing, he says as much to Peter at one point, so I never quite understood what initiated this protectiveness when everything pointed to Joe’s need for solitude and independence.
The ‘mystery’ made for a good plot device, but then went in the direction of a mystery “cozy” when Joe went barrelling out the door after the antagonist. Gah! ((banging head on table)) Dumb dumb dumb! I don’t have the patience for that in my standard mysteries and it detracted here.
Peter getting so emotionally involved with Joe and Tanner in TWO days that he felt a need to spill the beans about his identity. Following this, Peter discovered that his attraction to Joe and Tanner to be a distraction from his mission. I didn’t find that plausible for a “professional” of his caliber (as was depicted). But, if that hadn’t happened there wouldn’t have been a book…
There is a trigger alert with the scene that describes Tanner shooting up. Oddly, while I did not find that alarming, I was more put off with the sex that came after – it felt almost as if Joe was taking advantage of the situation to satisfy his needs knowing full well what the drug was doing to Tanner in that moment.
Again, those are my quirks. As I noted above, I did enjoyed the book. I appreciated that Joe didn’t sugar coat Tanner’s condition to Peter which added realism to the plot, I liked how Peter was willing to step back from his job to keep the three of them together, and I liked the resolution at the end.
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