Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Years ago, a very intoxicated Martin nearly died in the woods outside Everlasting, and a beautiful creature saved him, although Martin’s done his best to forget it. He spends his time in a haze of weed as he avoids his emotionally abusive mother—and the way he feels about men. Martin is already a weirdo in his isolated small town; he doesn’t need a sexuality crisis too. He’s a mess, but someone—or something—always seems to take care of him, usually a tall, sarcastic deputy by the name of Ian Forrester.
No one knows much about Ian, which is how he and his family prefer it. Ian has resigned himself to a lonely life keeping his secrets and guarding his forest. It’s safe to dream of Martin, because Martin never remembers Ian helping him. Besides, Martin barely speaks to Ian, so nothing can ever grow between them. Right?
But with the dragons—and the magic—back in Everlasting, suddenly anything seems possible, even a happily ever after for two men who never expected one….
When I pick up an R Cooper story I know exactly what I’m getting into. A long, densely layered, fabulous fantasy tale, a slow burn romance so slow moving we are talking a smouldering peat fire, one that’s simmering under the surface and takes chapters, hundreds of pages to come to fruition. No you won’t get any sort of instant love here. That’s the absolute love and joy for some, and total frustration for others. For me? It’s what I love and know I’m getting from the opening sentence.
His Mossy Boy is just part of a rich tapestry of tales that R. Cooper has been building in their (Being(s) in Love series, each story adding more vibrant storylines, characters and history to an overall mythology and town of Everlasting. It’s sheer magic! And like any wonderful bard R. Cooper takes their time. Always has and I expect always will.
Martin is young man in pain. Emotionally abused by his mother, uncertain about his sexuality, Martin feels like a freak, unloved and worthless. He takes refuge in alcohol and drugs, often ending up in a stupor outside and alone. Cooper brings us into the mind and heart of this bruised and aching man through Martin’s perspective. And it’s often a tortuous one. Especially with his scenes with his mother, as she drags down and kills what little hope and progress he’s made to to self worth through the day. It’s heartbreaking and all too believable.
But Martin has someone looking over him. Deputy Ian Forrester who has he own secrets and heartbreak. We get Ian’s perspective too. We get his insight into the town, into Martin, and we see the blinders, well, not blinders but perhaps lack of knowledge is keeping him from making the right decisions about Martin and their future. To get these two together will take the entire book. They will come so close at times but fear, low self esteem, town pressure and more, even magic seemingly strives to keep them apart.
There’s even dragons! Joseph and Zarrin, his sister Zazzy and Bernard the chatelaine, the dragon parents and the town of Everlasting feature prominently here. Did I mention this is a densely woven incredible tapestry?
But primarily it’s about getting Martin to accept himself, to see beyond other’s abuse of him and their intolerance and to be brave enough to reach for what he wants and think he deserves it. And not just Martin alone. There are two that need to believe that boundaries can be broken, rules bent so lovers can be together. In the end it all comes together in a powerfully simple walk down the street holding hands that makes you want to cry in happiness.
Yes, I love this story and this author. Neither one, the story or the series is for the impatient. Neither is the author for that matter. But for those of us who love to meander, take our time, looking around, appreciating the trail as much as the destination. Those of us who love the slow burn, the hesitation before the kiss…well, this is magic.
It helps to have read the story before this one, Treasure for Treasure (Beings in Love #7) to get background history on Joseph and Zarrin. Indeed pick up the entire Beings in Love series. It’s wonderful. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. His Mossy Boy and the rest are all highly recommended!
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond. What an absolutely gorgeous cover. Its perfect for the story and characters. One of my favorite of the year.
ebook, 350 pages
Expected publication: September 11th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Series Beings in Love #8