Title: Mountain Prey
Author: Lyn Gala
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Stunt Folger, Alex Soto
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense, Erotic Romance
Stewart Folger lives in the Appalachian Mountains, where people take care of their family and follow the Bible. He feels that Appalachian pull in his blood, but that hasn’t tamed his wild side. A youth full of pranks left him with the nickname Stunt and a preference for danger in and out of bed. Other than a few contrary moonshiners who hate him for philosophical reasons since he’s a forestry technician and federal employee, he doesn’t have a problem in the world. Then one day he runs into Alex Soto, a man out for revenge.
Just out of prison, Alex knows firsthand that the justice system doesn’t treat poor and rich equally, so he’ll have to go outside the law to avenge his brother’s death. When an innocent man lands in the middle of his plans, he doesn’t know what to do… other than take him hostage. Unfortunately, he never planned on having to deal with Stunt or with the twisted logic that passes for reasonable in Stunt’s mountain home.
The people in this story are insane! I mean absolutely bat. Shit. Crazy! And this right here made this one of THE most entertaining stories I’ve read in a while.
Stunt is a forestry technician, checking on the condition of trails and trees and such in the Appalachian hills in Tennessee. One day he’s kidnapped by the hottest, but apparently also the craziest guy in the hills, Alex. Stunt’s born to this mountain country, and he can tell Alex is an outsider. Stunt can’t keep his mouth shut to save his life—which is why he loves rough sex as a submissive—and by provoking his kidnapper he learns Alex is out for revenge. A drug dealer, Garrido, who killed Alex’s brother, has a compound in the woods, and Alex wants justice. Kidnapping the smart-mouthed Stunt didn’t factor into it. Until they realize they need help, and seek out the cooperation of Elijah, a local moonshiner. Unfortunately, Elijah has no love for the feds, which Stuns sort of is, and he will only help family. As a result, a shotgun wedding between Stunt and Alex! And when Stunt comes up with a crazy plan how to get even with Garrido, things go from weird to insane in a heartbeat! Real danger of death follows closely on their trail.
The story is told entirely from Stunt’s POV. But we still get Alex’s personality as he’s not all that good at hiding his emotions. Neither one is a hero. Stunt is, well, an adrenaline junkie who gets himself into trouble all the time, mostly because he doesn’t know when to shut up. Alex is a man torn between an internal conflict of fulfilling a vow and kill a man, and trying to get away from his criminal past. The first part of the book focuses entirely on the two men and their interaction. And I have to say it was a hoot! The witty dialogue, the snappy comebacks, and the constant sexual tension were a delight to read. I honestly couldn’t put the book down.
Once we get deeper insight into this mountain of madness that is the local community, that is where this plot really takes off. The culture here is depicted with every colorful detail, from the twisted mountain logic to the fight of the locals against encroaching government agencies. In the end, I felt like I understood what was going on—and that’s saying a lot! I was really thrown for a loop here, hating these people while gritting my teeth to actually liking them and even sort of respecting them and their mad ways. Go figure! Elijah seems so freaking batty that when I found myself rooting for him… Well, it surprised me, that’s for sure. And his wife, Teresa, wow, an amazing woman. Gosh, I’d be scared just to be in the same county as her.
The plot is fast paced, and the writing is excellent, especially in the dialogue department, as the area lingo comes through loud and clear. The action is pure dynamite, and the sex is hotter than hot! Wow. Alex has a real dominant streak. Stunt’s gonna be in for a rough ride… In fact, I have nothing negative to say about this book. Every part shines on its own. This is way, way too easy to recommend to everyone who likes their action filled with suspense, their sex with restraints, and their men with a few scars inside and out.
Reviewed By: Susan