He'll do anything to save the ranch, including baring it all.
Aubrey Klein is in real trouble - he needs some fast money to save the family ranch. His solution? A weekend job as a stripper at a club in Dallas. For two shows each Saturday, he is the star as The Lone Rancher.
It leads to at least one unexpected revelation: After a show, Garrett Lamston, an old friend from school, approaches the still-masked Aubrey to see about some extra fun...and Aubrey had no idea Garrett was gay. As the two men dodge their mothers' attempts to set them up with girls, their friendship deepens, and one thing leads to another.
Aubrey knows his life stretching between the ranch and the club is a house of cards. He just hopes he can keep it standing long enough to save the ranch and launch the life - and the love - he really hopes he can have.
©2016 Andrew Grey (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
What do you get when you mix a “harlequin style” with Andrew Grey? A very sappy and sweet romance with an ooey gooey center!
Garrett and Aubrey are friends until the night they bump into the other at a gay bar in Dallas. Now that they know the other’s secret they’re also pining for the other’s body!
Aubrey is leading this double (or triple) life where he strips for money in Dallas to keep the ranch afloat and hides his sexuality from everyone but Garrett and hides the stripping from everyone including Garrett.
As Garrett and Aubrey’s mothers start to set them up on double dates with the local girls, their romance with each other heats up. When Aubrey’s secrets come to light the question is on whose side will Garrett fall?
This is just like those Harlequins from the past: predictable and easy to read. We know what’s going to happen and there are only a few twists and turns the story takes.
Garrett is a very likable and sweet – salt of the earth - character and he’s easy to love. Aubrey is the “perfect son” with parents who are both awful and not-so-bad, so he comes across a little more “fussy” but it’s only because he’s working so hard all the time.
If you’re a fan of Andrew Grey, westerns, sappy romances and the Dreamspun line – you’ll enjoy this!
John Solo is a good selection for narrating this Midwestern romance. He does a nice job with the drawling accents and the sometimes screechy women. He does a nice job with the smexy times and the emotions and is easy to listen to.
4 of 5 stars
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
I like John Solo. As a narrator he usually does a good job bringing the characters to life, he doesn’t make the female characters sound stupid, and he generally draws me into the story. This time is no exception with his narration of the fourth book in Dreamspinner Press’ Dreamspun Desires Series.
Aubrey Klein moved home to help take care of the family ranch when his father’s health declines. His parents are getting older and aren’t able to take on the responsibility of the ranch by themselves anymore. Unfortunately, before they called him home they also managed to rack up an exorbitant amount of debt.
One night on a break in Dallas, closeted-at-home Aubrey stops by a gay strip club on Amateur Night and, after some liquid courage, dances away with the grand prize and a job offer for Saturday nights where he stands to make a minimum of $1000 each time he dances. Aubrey slaps on a mask and calls himself “The Lone Rancher” and does what he needs to in order to save the ranch.
After Aubrey’s been getting away with his dual life for months, he’s shocked when he sees his old friend from school, Garrett Lamston, who Aubrey didn’t even know was also gay. He sure doesn’t expect, while still in costume, to be approached by Garrett and barely gets away without giving away his identity.
Back at home Aubrey and Garrett begin spending time together again, rekindling their old friendship and kindling a new love affair. Aubrey’s life becomes more complicated as he tries to juggle his hush-hush relationship with Garrett, his parent’s expectations, the running of the ranch, and his secret identity.
The Dreamspun Desires stories are based on the old Harlequin romance formula of sweet, low angst, romances with a guaranteed HEA so I expect a certain amount of fluff. The premise of the story works if you squint your eyes and ignore logic (I mean, seriously, the parents don’t question the sudden influx of $25K or more? No one recognizes Aubrey with the little mask on?). All of which can be ignored for the enjoyment of the story. And I did enjoy the story and narration.
Three things did bother me though. Unfortunately, the story loses a bit of steam halfway through, the constant shame and guilt Aubrey feels for dancing (get over it, kid! It’s fun, you’re good at it, and it hurts NO ONE!) was grating, and the jumps that took away some of the time of getting to know Garrett and Aubrey as a couple were annoying.
In the end, though this is about romance and a happily-ever-after and the story definitely delivers on the fluff, love, and romance. It also manages to add some sexy times, which made me happy. So just make sure you have your rose colored glasses on and sit back and enjoy the narration. John Solo brings his A game and makes this a really enjoyable listening experience.
I did not ever understand the pain and anguish that the LGBT community endured until I began reading m/m books. I do know that my parents would have loved me regardless; it was something I never had reason to question. This story dealt with this issue in Texas. It seems the more "religious" a community is, the more likely it is that they will ostracize those who are different. The fight goes on to change that.
Aubrey Klein is looking to find a way to save his parents ranch, live his life, come out of the closet, and find a happily ever after.He is offered a creative way to make money, as a erotic dancer in a gay club, and does this on a weekly basis with every plan to never let anyone find out about his weekend activities and to quit just as soon as the ranch is safe from foreclosure. Well you know what they say about the best laid plans..
Garrett Lamston, has known Aubrey for years and has hidden something about himself from everyone, he is gay and he has a huge crush on Aubrey. Not only are both men in the closet, but they live in Texas in the Bible Belt, being gay just isn't an option - and then there is Aubrey's weekend activities that he has to continue on the down low in order to protect his families livelihood.
If you are looking for a story that is easy going, soft on conflict with super easy resolutions then this might be for you.
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