This is the third book in the series and continues to build on the themes established in the previous books. Most of the setting is on a ranch in Wyoming and the characters from previous books make small appearances. I got a laugh from Derek’s line “Is everyone around here either gay or fucked up?” Luckily they are or the series would be very short!
- No Going Home (book 1)
- Home of His Own (book 2)
- Wishing for a Home (book 3)
- Leaving Home (book 4)
- Home Sweet Home (book 5)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Derek St. Martin is Nashville’s hottest country singer. For eight years, fame and fortune have come his way, but he’s not happy. In fact, he’s on the edge of a nervous breakdown or checking into a drug rehab center. Hiding his sexual preferences is driving him to resort to numbing the pain. When his step-brother suggests he should go on vacation, Derek jumps at the chance to relax and get his head on straight.
Max Furlo isn’t happy. His bosses were leaving him in charge of some singer while he had other more important things to take care of. Seeing Derek St. Martin for the first time hits Max hard and, suddenly, he’s considering a summer fling.
Both men know that a relationship can never be for them. Derek’s career wouldn’t handle the news and Max can’t live a lie. Yet when a summer fling becomes love, who will be willing to risk it all for a chance at forever?
So what did I think?
Derek St Martin is a country music singer at the top of his career but burning out. Hiding his sexuality, resorting to pills and booze, he is on the verge of a breakdown. His step-brother arranges for him to spend three months on a ranch in Wyoming. The ranch belongs to gay couple Tony Romanos and Brody MacCafferty (from Home of His Own) who are away in Europe. Therefore Derek is left in the hands of the ranch foreman Max.
Max has his own issues. He doesn’t have any family left and has been terribly hurt in the past by relationships not in the open. He doesn’t hide his own sexuality and won’t be anyone’s hidden secret. However, while Derek is on the ranch he is prepared to risk some heartbreak. “It might hurt in the end when Derek returned to Nashville, but Max was willing to take what he could get and regret it later, instead of regretting never taking a chance at all.”
The three months on the ranch and the time with Max, do wonderful things for Derek, both in terms of his mental and physical recovery but he is also impacted by their relationship “Derek feared the breaking would go both ways. His heart wasn’t getting out the relationship without a few scars.”
I enjoyed the gradual build of the relationship between Derek and Max. They took their time with the physical side of the relationship. As with other books in this series, focus is on the emotional needs of the men and there are clear messages of acceptance and of family – you can surround yourself with people who accept, love and support you and make your own family.
I must admit to being a little bit confused by some of the events once Max and Derek parted ways. Max’s reasons for not following Derek were very clear and made sense, however I couldn’t understand the delay on Derek’s part. At least they got their HEA eventually!
On a small note, there were a couple of minor points that also stood out to me, perhaps because I am Australian. When Max was talking about his past and his mother, “Mom” was used in most instances apart from once where “Mum” was used. I always think it is great attention to detail if “Mum” is used consistently in the speech of Australians and British characters. Also Max said he was raised in Sydney for 22 years but then said he spent time with his mum “We’d wander the Outback, hiking….”. Sydneysiders do not typically ‘wander the outback’. For one thing it is not a simple ‘hike’ and secondly it’s too far away. For most people, visiting the outback would be a ‘once in a life-time’ type adventure. Sorry to be so picky! 🙂
My review of Leaving Home.
For more information on T.A. Chase and her books, visit the website.