Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lis' Review: A Foreign Range by Andrew Grey

Andrew Grey
A Foreign Range (Range, #4)
Dreamspinner Press, June 15, 2012

Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here

Backblurb: Country singer Willie Meadows is a fake. He's never ridden a horse, and his "Western" gear comes from a boutique shop in LA. No wonder Wilson Edwards, the real man in those fake boots, is suffering creative block. Determined to connect with the music, Wilson buys a ranch in Wyoming to learn the country way of life, even if he has no intention of running the business. Then Steve Peterson shows up desperate, destitute, and hungry, having just escaped a gay deprogramming hospital run by his father's cult. Steve was supposed to train horses for the ranch's former
owner, but the job is gone along with his would-be employer. Luckily Wilson has a temporary solution: Steve can ranch-sit while Wilson does business in LA. But when he comes back, Wilson barely recognizes the place. There are trained horses in the paddock, and the ranch is in great shape. Suddenly he finds himself inspired not by the cowboy lifestyle but by Steve himself. But the cult is still after Steve, and Wilson's fear of scandal means he's still in the closet. Coming out could kill Willie's career-but denying his feelings for Steve could kill the only part of him that's real.

Genre & Keywords: M/M Romance, Contemporary, Cowboys, Singer/Songwriter, Coming Out, Hurt, Abuse, Cults

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames

Reviewed by Lis

When you pick up a book in the Range series by Andrew Grey, you know you’ll be getting a captivating story, hot cowboys and beautiful scenery and well developed characters. A Foreign Range is no different, though there seems to be a disturbing trend of using abused characters or characters with an abusive past. This is the third in the series.

Willie Meadows, all around good guy and famous country singer, needs a change. For too long he’s let his friend and manager run everything and it’s taken the oomph out of his life and his music. So, no more domineering manager and a change of scenery. That’s how Wilson comes to buy a ranch in Wyoming and it is where he meets Steve. Steve is young man down on his luck and with a troubled past. His car literally breaks down outside Wilson’s new place and he has no money and the job he thought waiting for him is gone.

From the start there is a connection between Steve and Wilson, despite their different backgrounds and the age difference (nothing big). Their characterizations are well done. Steve and Wilson are both well-developed and round characters who are their own person in the story.
Steve has been living in a cult-like situation, but despite that he is strong and independent and willing to do whatever it takes to stand on his own two feet. He is a thoughtful and caring person who has a good insight into people. Despite that, he’s still very young and that shows in his actions sometimes.
Wilson, on the other hand, has been around the block a time or two. He no longer sees the good in people, just leeches who want something from him. For too long he’s been lived by people and the music business and now longs to live his own life and hopefully get his creativity back. It took him a while, but he grows during this story and is a changed man at the end of it. He is caring and surprises himself when he helps Steve. It takes him a while to figure out who he is and what he wants, but once he does, he goes for it and lets nothing stand in the way.

As is characteristic for the Range series all the characters from the previous book make an appearance and of course, no one messes with Wally! It was nice to see them again! There are also a few new characters and it was nice to see the interaction between Wilson and his housekeeper Maria and her young daughter.
The writing is beautifully done. At times it feels like you’re riding next to Steve and Wilson in the beautiful Wyoming wilderness (remind me to go there sometime!).

There isn’t a real downside to this story as it’s well written with a good plot. The only little niggle I had was, as stated above, the trend where one of the characters has an abusive past. It started small with Have and then bigger with Liam and now Steve. While it isn’t necessarily bad and it is creative – there is none of the typical abusive past downfalls – it is there.
But despite that little niggle, A Foreign Range is a thoroughly enjoyable book and fans of the series will like this latest installment!

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