I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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I love, love, love the "doing the bossman" trope. You know where the boss falls for his employee, the one that's been secretly pining for him all along.
And this book's blurb sounded pretty darn good - right up my alley - hinting at this particular trope.
In this book, we have Maine (the boss) and Colby (his assistant) whose plane crashes on their way home into the Cascade mountains. They make it out alive, but can't find the pilot. Together, the two men try to find their way off the mountain.
Of course, there's a bit of background story. Maine runs his own company, is engaged to be married to a nice woman, but is secretly gay. Knows he's gay, but doesn't think that he will be able to be openly gay, and pursue the nice assistant he's in love with. But nothing has an impact as much as a near-death experience to realize what's truly important, right?
Colby has been in love with his boss for a while and can't hardly believe it when Maine confesses the same. Their courage is tested a few times down the mountain, braving a bear and a massive flood. I really liked Colby. He has guts and spunk, but also a very vulnerable side, willing to stand aside if it would be the better choice for Maine.
I mostly bought the romantic relationship that very quickly develops (considering they're trying to survive their trip off the mountain), especially from Colby's side. I had some niggles with Maine's behavior, seeing how he is engaged, but again, nothing like almost dying to make you realize what counts. I felt sort of sorry for the rather nice woman in Maine's life, who's getting left, especially with how very understanding she was about the whole thing. I don't usually like cheaters, and while Maine had no way of contacting her while he was trying to get Colby and himself safely off the mountain, I felt that maybe he should have found his balls a little sooner. Like, before their plane fell out of the sky, especially since he realizes his feelings for Colby long before then.
The mystery around the plane crash, the ominous phone call that prompts Maine to leave Seattle sooner than planned, the hints at the coming show-down, the "whodunit" - all that was very nicely done and fit well within the romance plot. By the time of the "big climax", I wanted Maine and Colby to get their happy ending, so I was fully rooting for them.
For fans of Rick R. Reed, I would recommend you pick this up. Rick's style does shine through most of it. I don't have any experience with Vivien Dean, but her style appears to have meshed nicely with Rick's, and there weren't any jarring differences as far as I could tell. Overall this was an enjoyable read, with a fabulous HEA included.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **