A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Wide Open Spaces (States of Love) by Renee Stevens


Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Wide Open Spaces by Renee StevensDevon fled Wyoming as soon as he turned eighteen, leaving behind his high school love, Levi. After six years in the big city, Devon returns to his hometown. Not much has changed, except that Levi is no longer in the closet. He’s also single and living his dream—managing the local wild horse population. Both of them are very interested in picking up where they left off, but Devon is no more ready to reveal his orientation than he was as a teenager.

No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups.

This was a sweet story, but almost too sweet.  Devon returns to his small hometown in Wyoming because life in the big city no longer appeals to him. He left home after high school six years before, and he left behind his first love, Levi.  Once he’s back, he quickly learns Levi completed college and now works rescuing wild mustangs, and he came out a few years before when he brought home his boyfriend on a college break. 

Devon would love to see Levi, but he’s afraid his high school jock friends and his new employer, a mining operation, would make his life hell if they determined he was gay too. He is, and he was out for the past six years in Washington, but doesn’t want to be out here.  When he meets up with Levi, it’s evident that their chemistry is still there, so he plans to take it slowly as he gets to know the man he always loved.

They do take things slowly, but Devon is such a jerk about staying in the closet that eventually Levi clues in to the fact that they never go out in public, and he gives Devon an ultimatum (thank God!).  Devon is still a wuss, even when he finally determines that there’s nothing he’d do to hurt Levi and wins him back.  To be honest, I couldn’t believe how juvenile his behavior was, especially given the fact that he’s been out for six years.  And Levi was way too nice to the jerk. Really? He should have put his foot down from the beginning.  Also, there was no real angst surrounding the fact that Devon ran off six years before. They smoothly transitioned back together, even though there had been no contact during that time.

Overall, although I somewhat liked the story, mostly my “like” was centered around Levi and around the early parts of the story before I realized what a jerk Devon was.  Also, it felt a little too juvenile, and the resolution didn’t come until the end. And then it just ended—there should have been a bit more of a resolution toward their future as a couple.  So, I have to give it 2.5 stars because I thought it was a minimum of “okay” with a little bit of “like” as a booster.

The cover by Maria Fanning is okay, featuring a close-up of a muscular man’s chest with another (less than sexy and unappealing man) in the background and both superimposed over a scene of grazing horses.

Sales Links


Book Details:

ebook, 98 pages
Expected publication: August 31st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634777026 (ISBN13: 9781634777025)
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesStates of Love settingWyoming (United States)

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