Author: Adrianna Dane
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 118 pages
Kentucky, where loyalty means everything, secrets and disloyalty can
kill, Linc, the son of a mountain moonshiner, and Whit, the son of the
local banker, had dreams of a future together far from the Kentucky
hills. But one dangerously foolish act culminated in Linc's need to make
a painful decision in order to protect his secret lover. Whit left, and
the years have made Linc a hard, dangerous, and lonely man.
Whit left for college, they’d made a promise to each other. Whit would
have stood by Linc no matter what, but Linc shut him out. Years later, a
successful New York entrepreneur, love still eluded Whit. Those very
hills and the memory of his Kentucky lover called him back to find
closure, one way or the other.
Whit couldn’t have picked a worse
time to return to Kentucky as a murderous war was about to erupt.
Moonshine and bad choices tore Whit and Linc apart a long time ago. Can
Linc protect Whit, the man he still loved, from being drawn into the
power struggle between moonshiners and drug lords, or would they both
die when the smoke cleared, never having a chance to reclaim the love
they thought lost?
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit
sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may
find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.
and White managed to hide their relationship from their sharp-eyed
families, who would have taken it ill that their boys cared for one
another. Some old mountain customs are alive and well here in the hills:
feudin’, moonshinin’, and disappearing the bodies into old mine shafts.
“Revenooers” are hated as much as during Prohibition, and the stills
remain profitable. Blood is still thicker than water, or should be.
was always destined for a life outside the small mountain community
where his father came to salvage the community bank. His dreams of Linc
coming with him crashed and burned when Linc was intercepted with a load
of illegal whiskey. Trapped in a situation by an unscrupulous Federal
agent where Whit is in danger if Linc doesn’t cooperate fully, he has no
choice but to break it off without a word.
Ten years later,
Whit’s still dreaming of the mountain boy he lost. A man now, Linc’s
ruled by outside forces, and now that a Mexican cartel has plans for the
mountain, the danger is back, and from more sides than ever. Whit
hasn’t a clue, nor does Linc enlighten him, though they are in each
other’s arms and bed faster than you can spit.
between the men is still hot, and they clearly want to be together, so
Whit is completely confused as to why his lover won’t rejoin him. He
finds out the hard way, in brisk action scenes, where more treachery
than he can imagine is unveiled. I enjoyed the heat and the tension of
the secrecy, which was still necessary for Linc to maintain, although
very frustrating. It’s quite plain these two should be together; it just
won’t be easy.
Linc had the bulk of the POV scenes—the big
conflicts were mostly his, and the tone wasn’t overwhelmingly
“mountain-y.” If anything, it could have used a little more
down-home-ness to stay even; Linc sounded a lot like his Boston
College-educated lover at times.
Where I wasn’t quite so engaged
was a subplot involving the Federal agent and Linc in a non-law
enforcement and rather dub-con relationship; at least it was
understated and mostly off-screen. It had some ramifications later
between Whit and Linc. Your mileage may vary on this part, but I found
it tacked on and unpleasant.
Once the tension resolved, this story
could have reasonably ended, but there’s one last wrap-up chapter
that’s a combination of a little too sweet to blend in and containing
the tacked on element I didn’t care for: I would have been more content
with the tale had it ended after Chapter 11, and the cost of the HEA sex
would have been a small one to pay. The story had been very gripping
until then, and the impact was unfortunately diluted: a sudden influx of
“darlings” in the dialog broke the characterization, and more sex
doesn’t always improve the story.
Still, I mostly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it with those few reservations. 3.75 marbles