Author: Jan Irving
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Book Cover Rating: 4
You and your son have the saddest eyes.
Young cowboy Happy Nathaniel is struck by a need to reach out when he first meets Aaron King and his son, Samuel, so he helps Aaron find a haven at the Rocking M, far away from their strict Mennonite community. Once Sam is settled in the country school, both men seek something to spur him to speak again. But most of all, Nate also sees Aaron’s loneliness, and a single kiss is the spark Nate has secretly craved. But he’ll put his attraction on hold as long as needed, knowing there is a time for all things and that, one day, Aaron will want to dance again.
That opening line in the blurb really stuck with me as I read the story and got to know Aaron King and his son, Samuel. Happy go lucky cowboy, Nathaniel said that to Aaron early in the story and by the end, I was so happy to see things changed and those eyes, both sets, turned happy.
Jan created a very interesting story about an ex-Mennonite and a cowboy, then she added a young boy who couldn’t talk and managed to grab my heart and then made me care about them. Happy go lucky Nathaniel is the younger man in this story, he’s very confident, he’s according to the description given, very good looking and tanned. He’s on his way back to the ranch one afternoon and manages to rescue a young boy who is being bullied by other little kids they are just awful. They shove his face in horse droppings, kick him, laugh at him, it’s just so sad to read about, but Happy Nate saves the day and chases them away. But as a mother I could just see this happening and knowing the poor little guy won’t talk, then learning he has no mother—talk about emotional highs and lows here.
Aaron King is the ranch cook, he also grows all the vegetables and takes care of the smaller livestock along with his son, Sam. He’s a shy older man, he’s smart, and very lonely. The one thing that sticks out about him is his no nonsense way of looking at the world and people around him. He’s a matter of fact type of guy and he’s the one man Nate manages to fall for and for quite sometime he believes the man to be straight so he keeps his fantasies to himself and has an occasional lover to fulfill his very active libido.
Mean while poor Sam refuses to talk and has stopped talking since the death of his mother and due to that his teacher suggests to Aaron that Sam be sent to a special school where he can learn sign language but Aaron is skeptical because he knows Sam can keep up in the school he attends, he’s so distraught over Sam’s condition it’s heart wrenching.
One night, after Aaron invites Nate to have dinner with him and Sam in their cabin, everything changes and suddenly the innocent Aaron changes face and has Nate pinned against the wall kissing him like no one’s business. Their relationship moves forward from there and the way Aaron speaks is so just there. He doesn’t mess around with how he feels, he puts it all out there and takes it as it comes and he’s a very jealous man. He immediately takes the more Dom role in the relationship.
I loved this story. I fell in love with the characters and really cared about all the secondary players, especially the teacher who introduced Aaron to the world we all love…MM Romance Books. She even mentions the names of a few authors we are all familiar with, so that was very refreshing to see. I loved the tight plot and how she introduced the subject of bullying right at the start and how it was handled within the schoolhouse. Bravo Jan!!