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 fifty 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.
I love Amy Lane’s books, although I haven’t been brave enough to read her really angsty stuff. I don’t want to end up in a fetal position on the floor in my house wondering how I will go on. 🙂 But Bonfires seemed like a good middle ground between Amy’s super angsty and her sweet and light-hearted works. A good middle ground it was.
It is very seldom that I get to read a book where the characters are about the same age as I am. Generally they are between 25 and 35, so this was a fantastic change of page. Both characters were mid to late 40s, with teenagers still in the house, and some kids having already left home. And for both men, this was a second chance at love.
I loved the fact that it wasn’t insta-love. These men had lived in the same town for years, seen and talked to each other at multiple events. It merely had become time for them to live their lives again, rather than having their lives ruled by their children. Don’t get me wrong, the kids definitely interfered. Finding the time or place to have adult sex was rather funny to read, because you could see that happening in your own life, with your own kids.
There were definitely some HUGE surprises in this book, some the reader doesn’t see coming, as Amy Lane books are often wont to do. In the end, though, it was about two men finding a second love, and figuring out how to manage time, their jobs and life in general. They found it, but they worked hard at it, knowing it wasn’t easy.
Amy also threw in one of my favorite things to find. To me, it is almost like an Easter Egg. She didn’t solve all the problems. There were still unresolved issues within this new family, and realistically that is exactly what happens in life. Too often with romance novels, everything is wrapped up neatly, no stone is left unturned, and all issues have been settled. Not here! She left a couple things unsettled, and that is okay with this reader!
4.5 pieces of eye candy