Rating: 4.5 stars
John and Anthony have a tough time making time for each other, especially at this time of the year. Not only do both men work in emergency services, John as a EMT and Anthony as a nurse, but they also are members of the local Search and Rescue outfit. But their roles in Search and Rescue make them one unique couple with John as the S&R handler for his “dog” Sir Barksalot who just happens to be Anthony, a wolf shifter. The holidays always bring crazy demands on their time, from people lost on the slopes to a full ER. But they have been lovers for a long time and know how special it is to make time for each other in their special valley.
I loved this short story written for Dreamspinner’s Evergreen Advent Month. Jana Denardo captures beautifully the portrait of a couple who have been together long enough that they mesh in that special way only committed partners do. That one partner happens to be a wolf shifter and Native American adds spice to the relationship but never takes the focus off the love John and Anthony have for each other. There are some very cute scenes in which John interacts with his rescue “dog” during training and Anthony’s comments about his love for liver treats. We also get to see them as an established couple at Christmastime with John’s large Italian family who clearly see Anthony as they would any of their children’s spouses, a very nice touch.
Peace in the Valley gives us tender moments in the lives of John and Anthony, the drama of a rescue and some hot sex too, all nicely wrapped up in 39 pages. Another don’t miss for the holiday season. Lovely.