Title: Timber Lake (A Snowy Range Mystery #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Nya Rawlyns (Jade Horse Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: August 25, 2015 – 202 pgs
Michael Brooks is a loner, and with good reason. A short fuse and a tendency to shoot from the hip, sometimes quite literally, mean he’s all the company he’s got most of the time, and he likes it that way just fine. It suits his job as Warden for Wyoming’s Fish and Game Department.
Being alone sounds good to the researcher for the USDA Forest Service, Dr. Seamus Rydell, especially since it means time away from the pressures to follow his family’s political traditions. He’ll need a guide to Timber Lake to set up his testing equipment, and who better than a Warden whose boss needs him out of sight for a while?
They’re just doing their jobs, until both men get derailed by a lust threatening to light up the night sky and by egos big enough to fill the wilderness.
When a psychopathic poacher intrudes, Michael’s past rises up and the present twists out of shape around a sick mind. As the future for both men fills with darkness, it is all too clear no one will come back from Timber Lake unscathed.
I really liked what this author did with this story and these characters, even though there were times I am going to be honest and say that I was not a huge fan of the way Michael talked to Sonny. That kind of drove me nuts at points because he was just being a jerk to him so it did take me awhile to start liking his character and understand why he acted the way he did. But other than that I liked the aspect of this story and the mystery.
This was definitely a slow burn to me with some of the steamy scenes. You also get some action in this book which I will not go into because I really do not want to give away any spoilers because you really need to read this book for yourself.
So I will leave this review with… I really liked this story!
I so wanted to really love this book but it was only okay. I just could not connect with either of the MC’s and I found this book was a struggle for me to read. I liked the idea behind the characters and there was definitely suspense which should have made really like the book. The blurb made it sound so interesting but it was clear that this book was not for me. The authors writing style should have made it an easy read but I just really failed to engross myself in this book. That being said, I can’t really recommend or not recommend this book.
I struggled with this book. I liked the story premise and I quite liked both of the main characters. The researcher from an affluent, politically connected family and a warden with a short temper are an unlikely pairing and the men’s differences make for an interesting read, especially when they have to work together to survive the elements in a Wyoming national park.
Despite the initial promise of the story, I found the writing style very difficult to follow. The first aborted scenes between Michael and Sonny contain so many mixed metaphors and rambling, euphoric descriptions that I struggled to understand what was actually happening between them. This seemed to happen every time there was any sort of emotional intensity in the story. While purple prose can be amusing during sex scenes, the elaborate flowery language left me bewildered during the final climactic action sequence. I’m still not sure what happened.
In other parts of the story, I found the place and time markers (or lack of) confusing. At one point they are waiting out a blizzard in a collapsed tent, the men are frozen solid, Sonny is barefoot in a stream and they are having sex. Seemingly all at once. I couldn’t figure out what season the men were riding in or why the experienced outdoorsmen were wearing jeans and boots (that were soaked, frozen and then remarkably fine to ride in the next day – after a night in a tent) instead of sensible layers of weatherproof clothing.
The sex was very hot. If you ignore the fact that the men are in soaking wet clothing in a snowstorm, there is a very steamy, inventive tent sex scene involving docking…
But while the sex is hot, the relationship between the two slightly older men was a tedious, tumultuous mess. Michael behaves like a spoiled teenager and seems incapable of a grown-up relationship. Sonny just seems to take whatever Michael offers him. It was difficult to like these men as a couple. I believed that they were both hot and easily available, but I never felt any romance or chemistry between them. I didn’t really care about the HEA and I certainly didn’t want to read any more about them after I finished the story.
Overall, I’m a little ambivalent about this story. I think it has potential but I’d like to see it given a good edit, some romance and a little more character development
Nya Rawlyns has lived most of her life in eastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey. She’s been a teacher, a small business owner, a sailor, and a technical writer. Her novella, Sculpting David, from Red Sage Presents is out in eBook. Her novel, Hunter’s Crossing, also from Red Sage, is available in eBook from Amazon. The historical romance, The Shadow of This World, will be released in 2012 from XOXO Publishing.