Title: Cherish the Land (Land Downs #5)
Author Name & Publisher: Ariel Tachna
Publication Date & Length: June 8, 2015 – 220 pgs
Seth Simms never wanted to be a cowboy, although to listen to his best friend, Jason Thompson, tell it, he isn’t one. He just happens to have lucked out in coming to live on Lang Downs with his brother ten years ago. He found enough stability to finish high school and go off to university, but he never really believed Lang Downs would be the same haven for him that it had become for so many others. He’s too messed up in the head. No one would accept someone with his issues.
All his life, Jason has had one goal: to come home to Lang Downs as resident veterinarian when they need his skills and jackaroo when they don’t. And it means he gets to spend time with Seth during his occasional visits, even though his dream of going from friends to lovers is hopeless since Seth is straight.
When Seth unexpectedly comes home to stay, Jason takes it as the boon it is. But juggling a relationship with another jackaroo and his friendship with Seth isn’t easy, and that’s before Jason realizes how deep Seth’s issues run and how dangerously Seth chooses to cope with them.
I loved this and I can’t believe I’ve missed this whole series! This is book five, and it tells the story of Jason, a newly qualified vet, and Seth, an engineer. It also catches up with couples and characters from the previous four books, especially Jeremy and Sam.
Tachna’s outback sheep station is a fantastic. Her writing makes people, places and animals come alive. Even without reading the previous books, I loved the complexity of the relationships between the station’s year-rounders. Tachna has crafted a vibrant extended family out of a collection of misfits and outcasts.
Each character arrives at Lang Downs with a past, and I love the realism of the problems they face. Seth’s struggle in this book was awful, but very real and probably far too common. I loved the way Tachna allows readers glimpses of relationships at different stages – some characters have been together for decades, others for weeks. Too often
writers finish with an HEA after a rushed romance. With this series, Tachna allows love stories to develop over lifetimes.
I love how the romance in this book was offset so well by the reality of grueling hard work in a very harsh environment. Accidents, animal injuries and storms are unavoidable – but here they pull the characters together and turn friends into family.
I know fans of the series will love returning to Lang Downs Station and revisiting favourite characters. I wish I had started with the first book in the series, but I will definitely go back and start this series from the beginning.
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