Micah Avery has called Split Rock Ranch home for most of his life—it’s one of the few places he can be totally himself without worry or judgment. The ranch, the horses, and the people are Micah’s future, and he couldn’t be happier. The fact that it’s also home to the ranch manager he’s determined to marry one day is icing on the cake . . . all he needs is for Ryan to notice him.
Ryan Astor came to Split Rock Ranch at a time when he was desperate to start over. It was just supposed to be a stop on the road, but instead he found a home and a family—that family includes Micah, the sweet kid who’s been the ranch mascot since before he was tall enough to see over the stall doors. Ryan’s finally found his place, and he can’t imagine wanting anything to change.
Then little Micah Avery grows up. And Ryan’s suddenly confronted with a whole mess of feelings and desires he never expected. Now he needs to decide if he can give in to what they both want without jeopardizing everything they have.
Something Undeniable is a slow-burn, 37k-word novella with an age gap, mutual pining, and plenty of heat. It’s the first book in the Split Rock Ranch series, but can be read as a stand-alone story.
This looks to be a new author, and she did a very good job on this slow burn cowboy romance. There were still a few unanswered questions for me at the end, but overall well done.
When we first meet Micah and Ryan, Micah is a senior in high school but has been in love with Ryan for several years. He told his friend right away when Ryan came to the ranch that he would marry him someday. Ryan, of course, had no idea, and didn’t even consider Micah, since he was so much older. Until right at Micah’s graduation, when Micah has no idea if he wants to stay or go away to college. They have a moment, and then Micah leaves for 3 years.
I have to give kudos to the author on this. She didn’t shy away from the distance that these two needed in order for Micah to mature, and decide what he really wanted. Micah even had relationships before he came back, but always wanted Ryan. This was really well done. The two men circled each other when Micah returned, but it wasn’t long.
The side characters were really well done, as well. One is on the autism spectrum and is very well portrayed. Since everyone on the spectrum is different in their needs and concerns, it was great to see not only the representation, but also the respect that all the characters gave her for her skills and joy in what she did.
Very enjoyable, and I’m interested to see how the author takes their relationship in book 2 and challenges it, because Micah and Ryan definitely got their HEA in the first book.
3.5 pieces of eye candy
Rory Maxwell discovered romance novels on her mom’s bookshelf when she was probably too young to be reading them—the reward for being a nosy kid with great reading comprehension. The magic of a dial-up internet connection led her to the wonderful world of MM fanfiction a few years later and she fell love with the genre. In 2019 she woke up with a plot bunny, opened a word doc, and started trying to figure out how this writing stuff worked.
Rory grew up outside of Washington, DC, moved away, and then came back for reasons she doesn’t fully understand. An artist and writer, she always has too many exciting ideas and not nearly enough free time. One day, she hopes to escape to the mountains and open an LGBTQIA+ friendly bed and breakfast where she can work from home and write as much as she wants. In the meantime, she splits her time between her day job and writing MM romance with endearing characters, lots of feels, plenty of heat, and a dash of kink.
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