Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Remy Delacour’s family doesn’t believe in mainstream medicine, and when Remy’s boyfriend reveals that Remy is majoring in nursing, they cut him off. He has to find money to finish his education—fast. And he is so done with boyfriends.
Levi Aronson met the guy of his dreams and followed him to Australia. He knew the chances for a lasting romance were slim—and boy, was he right. Now he’s back in Canada, a year behind in his university program, and short of funds. He needs money, not another man.
Tree planting is a way to make a lot of money fast, but it’s one of the hardest jobs in the world. When Levi, an experienced planter, sees pretty, sloe-eyed Remy, Levi is certain he’ll never last.
They’ll have to pry Remy’s shovel from his cold, stiff fingers, because he won’t quit—or let anything take his eyes off the prize. When a storm brings Remy and Levi together, each finds the other a distraction from the big goal. But can anything develop between two men who have sworn off relationships?
I’m coming to love this author and her stories. They always contain characters that feel so grounded in reality and yet unusual enough to make me think I’ve never come across anyone like them before in a romance. That certainly happens here in Highballer, one of Dreamspinner Press’ World of Love romances.
There is so much to recommend about this story! Hayden absolutely brings alive the “seasonal society” of tree planters that most of the world’s population may not even be aware of. You may see all those commercials of vast acres of trees, dense commercial forests…but have you ever given thought as to how they get there? Who plants them? You won’t after this story. Hayden makes the “best worst job in the world” vivid and compelling, awful and amazing all at once. This element alone is reason to buy this book.
But silviculture aside, you have the fascinating characters of Remy Delacour and Levi Aronson. Remy Delacour and his family from Pax Eden could take up their own book here. Remy is estranged from his family, not because he’s gay but because he’s a nursing student and finally got his vaccinations (something his family is violently against along with organized medicine). They are pro Health Freedom and he’s come out as an RN. Everything about Remy is endearing, how I adore this character. But I love Levi as well. Levi has his issues to work through. They also stem from his family, his father in this case and poor treatment from an ex boyfriend. Combined it’s caused Levi to raise some mighty high walls and come armed with some equally high judgements.
Hayden makes these men real and then puts then in situations you believe in so you watch the slow friendship form or friendships in Remy’s case as he’s the “new kid” amongst a crew of people who’ve worked together. Everyone here feels like someone you’ve met before, there is an authenticity about them that rings true. And at the end of the story, you’ll be as sad to leave them as you were saying goodbye to people you camped with or became close to over a summer. At least that’s how it felt to me. I wanted them back again. You’ll also learn what the term “highballer” means. And have watched a wonderful love story blossom and grow.
I absolutely recommend Highballer (World of Love) by Ava Hayden. I’ll be re-reading to see what elements I missed the first time around. And then I’ll be waiting to see what this talented author is coming up with next. I wouldn’t mind if she sends us back to the treeline…
Cover Artist: Jennifer Vance. This cover is perfect for the characters and setting. Loved it.
ebook, 138 pages
Expected publication: October 25th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press