Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.
Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.
It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.
Bonfires is a lovely story with mature characters and well-behaved teenagers. The best part is that everyone acted their age and the plot, even when a little fantastic, move forward following an interesting set of developments and real love and family relationships.
This is not only a romance but a bit of a mystery with the added drama of small towns. We have several story lines running parallel and in normal Amy Lane fashion everyone in town, including the animals play an important part in the plot and the MCs’ love story.
Everyday events, like breakfasts & homework, are well-mixed with Larx’s and Aaron’s developing relationship. They not only get to know each other but those around them before and after they met. Their pasts are as important as their present and how they want to shape their future.
I did want to see more alone time between the main characters. They spent a lot of time just solving other people’s problems and dealing with their families. I wanted a bit of downtime for them to really have a chance to discover each other without interruptions or expectations.
Overall, this is another hit by this author. It’s the proverbial big book of everything, but as always, it works.
Nick J. Russo did an excellent job giving all the characters a unique voice. It was easy to get immersed in the story.
The cover by Anne Cain shows one of the story’s main scene to perfection. It’s a bit different than traditional MM romances, but so it’s the book.
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Length: 9 hours 34 minutes
Published: June 9, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English