He thought his cowboy days were behind him. But life—and love—had other plans.
Michael Pearce left the small-town life of Weston and cattle ranching for the hustle of Austin, and never looked back—until his father suffers a stroke and requires in-home care.
Josiah Sheridan became a certified nursing assistant after seeing how wonderful his single mother’s in-home aides were before she died. He wants to help people, and he does his best with the work he can find in small-town Weston, Texas. He also lives a complicated life with his lover—to the rest of the world, they’re just roommates. Behind closed doors, their life is…strained.
Meeting Michael, a kind and openly gay—not to mention much older—man, gives Josiah a glimpse into a brighter, happier world. He loves Michael’s self-confidence and plethora of life stories. But it will take patience, planning, and more courage than Josiah thinks he has to finally break free from his old life and find real love with Michael.
It’s been a minute since I got to read some of AM Arthur’s cowboys. I missed them.
This is book 2, but you don’t have to read book 1. In fact, I kind of like that they are basically 2 new characters. We met Josiah briefly in book 1, but he wasn’t one of the guys working at Woods Ranch. And Michael is back in town to help his estranged father after he had a stroke. His estranged father we also met in book 1. Elmer, the metal sculpture artist who rented out his trailer.
Both of these guys are broken. Michael’s brand new ex husband weasled him out of a lot of money, his business and his patent. Josiah is in a relationship that is a secret, but they live together and he is being abused.
This led to a nice, slow burn between them. The attraction is immediate and obvious, but they are both wary. Partly because Josiah is Michael’s dad’s home nurse. But partly because of what they each just got out of.
Josiah just broke my heart. He is one of those people that just keeps having crappy things happen to. To be honest, a few too many tragic things. He seemed to have a permanent black cloud. What I assumed about what had happened to him wasn’t even close.
The Big Fight that strained the relationship between Elmer and Michael was also a bit…anticlimatic. Not that the trauma that caused the fight wasn’t exactly that- trauma. But these two men should have mended fences long ago. I think because we also met Elmer previously, we know he is a good guy. So Michael being mad at him for something 20 years ago just didn’t seem right.
I did appreciate how gentle Michael was with Josiah, even before he knew everything that has happened to him. But I wished he would have stopped Josiah from doing things around the house. That isn’t part of being a home nurse. But he cooked and cleaned everyday. Breakfast and lunch for Elmer? ok. But having dinner in the crockpot for Elmer and Michael just seemed a little much.
You could see the coming conflict toward the end from a mile away. I could have made a list that would have been checked off.
I don’t not like the story. I did. But I think Elmer deserved more grace from Michael. Michael should have been WAY more angry at his ex and everyone should have noticed what was going on with Josiah. They went from the slowest of slow burns to moving in together.
And not for nothin, but the Woods family is a little too good. Silly, but still.
3.5 pieces of eye candy
I haven’t gotten to read this author’s cowboy books before, but figured I would jump in here. This is book 2, but it stands alone.
Michael is recently divorced and had everything taken from him from his awful ex. Meanwhile, Josiah, I don’t want to say much, but it isn’t a good situation, it made my heart hurt for him.
This was a slow burn, which was good for the situations these two were coming out of. However, it just didn’t work well for me. Too many things just didn’t sit well for me. I felt like there were pieces that didn’t quite make sense for me, or were too blatantly wrong for what I expected. And the ending was a bit too predictable.
It was an okay story, and I’d like to read another cowboy book from this author, because I love the narration and descriptions, and few authors can make me cry more than once in a book, and she does most of the time. This just wasn’t the right story for me, I think.