Title: Changes Coming Down (Changes #1)
Author: Kaje Harper
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: December 1, 2019
Genre(s): M/M/M, Mystery/Suspense
Page Count: 250
Reviewed by: Kristin F
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
For three gay men in love, opening the closet door could be a risky move.
Sheriff Casey Barlow has a slick, media-savvy challenger out to beat him in the upcoming election. Casey’s damned good at his job, but he hasn’t kissed the right asses, and early polls suggest voters like his opponent’s style. Coming out now, let alone revealing his relationship with two men, could sink any hope of keeping his badge.
Scott Edison has a real shot at the NHL. He’s playing the best hockey of his life. Whenever he can, he travels home to his gruff sheriff and their laid-back cowboy, but there are no out gay players in the NHL. As a rookie working his ass off to be called up, he can’t afford to make waves.
Will Rice always figured he’d live alone, managing Graham and Annmarie Slater’s cattle ranch, but a hot, young hockey player and a compact, muscled lawman rearranged his plans. Even though he’s older and lanky and ordinary, he’s been sharing their lives and their beds. He doesn’t need to be out— isn’t sure he ever wants the Slaters to know about him. Life’s good the way things are.
Then Graham and Annmarie are killed in a hit and run that may not be an accident. As Will grieves, and Casey investigates, the coming changes will shake all their lives.
** this is a re-edit and expansion of the story in the “Hunting Under Covers” anthology.
I greatly enjoyed this story, perhaps one of the most balanced m/m/m plots I’ve read. I found the plot(s) engaging, the overall story arc kept our characters moving forward, and there was the perfect amount emotion to keep feelings realistic and not over the top. The point of view shifts between the characters was so well executed that I had no problems following our three characters, and I adored that we have a sheriff, a cowboy, and a hockey player. A perfect trifecta of men!
I also want to give a shout out that our author did not create the “perfect” happy ever afters (not dropping spoilers) for each and every character. Not all of our three men get the perfect ending to their plot line which for me, made for a more satisfying read.
Add to this, our three guys go through a gambit of emotions, but again, I felt the author did a fantastic job of keeping things realistic and avoided excessive drama and angst. We have anger, we have frustration, we have withdrawing, we have yelling and yes, we have apologizing, hugs and “I just need to be held” moments. In my humble opinion that is what makes for strong character building. Anyone can write a sex scene, but to bring characters together meaningfully – much less three guys – that takes a bit more effort.
Noting that this is book one (and I’m SO excited to read book two), I am hoping to see a bit more character development in Will. He’s solid, he’s a cowboy, he’s grieving, and he was a little two-dimensional. I really didn’t feel he was as strong in personality as Casey and Scott.
Another small niggle I had was the “Scott Plot” toward the end of the book. The avoiding talking and contact to avoid coming out implementation just didn’t make sense to me and in part I think it was a plausibility thing, too extreme or something.
But, overall, three thumbs up. Well written, engaging plots, my ideal emotional rapport, and yeah, three very hot guys. Give this one a try if you like cowboys, men in uniform, and hockey jocks.