Aaron Laughlin is young, rich, and a star among the Nashville political elite. That’s why nobody is more surprised than him when he ends up abandoned at the altar. But here he is, dumped on the most important day of his life, embarrassed in front of his entire city, and left with a bruised ego in place of a broken heart.
Needing time away to regroup after the fiasco that could very well derail his career, he decides to head to the mountains and enjoy his honeymoon on his own. Only, he isn’t alone. His imposing new bodyguard refuses to let Aaron out of his sight, or his reach, and the way his dark eyes follow Aaron’s every move gets under his skin in a way he can’t shake, and isn’t sure he wants to.
Isaac Chinn is practical, professional and takes pride in being good at his job. He’s never even considered breaching the client/bodyguard boundary, which is why being stuck on the side of a mountain with the gorgeous jilted groom that isn’t quite as straight as he’d like people to think, is such an imposition. The mayor might annoy and intrigue him in equal measure but Isaac knows better than to cross the line.
Only, the heat that flares between them refuses to be ignored. They’re like gasoline and a match, destined to consume each other if they get too close. But when faced with the cold of loneliness, is it worth the risk to feel the heat of passion, even if it might destroy them both?
Having not read any of the previous books, I came in a bit blind to this series, which was fine. It was mostly stand alone, although I got the feeling that Ashtyn’s story was either a previous book, or a book to come. But none of that took me out of the story.
Isaac Chin was a bodyguard, working for/with his best friend, assigned to guard Aaron after he is jilted at his wedding. I really liked Isaac. I liked that even though he grew up in Nashville, he acknowledged his heritage, something not always represented in the gay romance genre. I liked that he was very intuitive (which I would assume is necessary in his profession) and was able to see there were already issues with Aaron and Ashtyn before wedding day arrived. He had no problems relaxing once they were in Colorado, but still kept his guard up to protect his man.
Aaron, on the other hand, I had a really hard time liking at times. He was so hot and cold with Aaron. I understand why, his career was on the line, his hopes for the future. However, he treated being bisexual like it was a disease sometimes. There was a very detailed conversation where he described how little bisexual it was (something like 3% towards men, 97% towards women), and it turned me off on him, as it just seemed to breathe self-loathing, when he was so confident and self-assured in every other way. (His parents were by no means innocent in how he must have felt about himself.) He also hurt Isaac multiple times, knowingly, because he was being selfish.
Now, it sounds like I hated Aaron, and yes, there were times I did. However, he does redeem himself, and does it (at least to me) in a surprising way, with a conversation that I didn’t see coming. That helped me to see Aaron as someone who really just needed to find a way to reconcile his life from all sides, in order to find a way to be happy, for himself and for the future he wanted with Isaac.
I really loved that these two men were able to find joy and contentment in nature, in the one place in the world where Aaron seemed to feel comfortable, and Isaac fell in love with immediately. Their joy in spending time in nature in Colorado made me want to take a day and go hiking. 🙂
3.5 pieces of eye candy