The Mountains: Book Four
Jake Landon thinks a second ranger season in the Colorado Rockies with Kurt Carlson is close enough to heaven, and a national forest is big enough to be his closet. Pharmacy school – and the luxuries of electricity and running water – can wait, maybe forever, as long as Jake doesn’t have to come out. He doesn’t plan on Kurt’s vision of his future being as narrow and direct as the single track roads through the trees.
“Your future, your fear, and me,” Kurt tells Jake. “You can have two of the three, so choose wisely.” Jake may have no choices left after they stumble on armed men guarding a beautiful, but deadly crop that doesn’t belong among the pines and spruces. Angry men with guns are only one danger in the Colorado wilderness, and Jake’s reluctance to come out is now his smallest problem.
Kurt’s skills and Jake’s silver tongue may not be enough to get them out of this mess – how much of the blood shed on the mountain will be theirs?
This is Jake and Kurt, back to being rangers again. (Previously in the series: Jake and Kurt meet when Jake decides to be a fire ranger for the summer in between undergrad and grad school. They have since spent the last couple of years working seasonal jobs while Jake gets in-state residency for school. Kurt is also a ski instructor in the winter. They have had their ups and downs, mostly about Jake’s closetedness but generally are deeply in love and in it for the long run. In book one there was a life threatening fire and in book two there was an avalanche. There is a book in the series (Book 3) in which Jake and Kurt are only minor characters, but this book returns to them as the MCs. )
The story opens with strip archery! The couple is still in love but argues about Jake’s future. First, Kurt wants him to start Pharmacy school in the fall (leaving his summer job early). Second, Kurt wants Jake to come out of the closet so that when the summer is over the two can live in a one-bedroom apartment as a couple.
To complicate matters, there is a situation in the mountain involving bad guys and drugs. As with the other books, someone is in danger and someone gets hurt, but in the end the good guys are victorious!
As with the other stories PD does an amazing job with detail. She tells us meticulously about archery, the plant life, the rodeo, even the medical care our hero receives and it feels authentic and true. (Not being an expert in those things I can only guess… ☺ )
I loved the story coming back to Kurt and Jake, they are definitely a great couple and now that they’ve been with each other so long their sex is even better!
I also love how Kurt is this “expert” in everything. Of course he can ride a bucking Bronc! He can do EVERYTHING!
I felt that the drama was more within reason than in some of the previous books and added a thrilling element to the story.
Though I will read the final book, I am sad to see Kurt and Jake go.
Finn Sterling did another great job bringing the story to life and making the listening experience a good one. He always does a nice job with the voices of Jake and Kurt, trying to differentiate all the characters without going over the top.
World Building/Characterizations 5
4.6 of 5 hearts!