The village of Stamford, the quintessential chocolate box English scene, seemed an impossible dream for foster kid Toby Prentiss. Now he’s found a home among the haystacks and village fairs as the general manager for the Duck and Drake Hotel. With the fears and demons from his youth hidden away in this bucolic oasis, he’s very protective of who he lets in. Until he stumbles across shirtless carpenter Rain Engel building the hotel’s new custom-designed bar.
Working in the countryside, Rain prepared to face his biggest fear: sheep. He didn’t expect to deal with his second biggest fear: commitment. Toby’s controlled, tough guy façade coupled with his “find happiness where you can” optimism calls to Rain like nothing before. While Rain may be an exhibitionist, his romantic history forces him to hold his emotions close. As their relationship develops, secrets from their pasts drive a wedge between them: the ex-boyfriend who tore apart Rain’s trust and Toby’s history with the law. But can the secrets hiding among the quirky villagers bring them together? With missing sheep, pole dancing at the winter festival, and a crippling drought, everyone is waiting for Rain.
Toby is the manager of a hotel. He’s just booted his last boyfriend for smacking him around, he’s not necessarily looking to get involved with anyone right now.
Rain – not his real name – is working at Toby’s hotel in construction – he’s newly single and definitely not looking for any relationship. But… Rain is super hot for Toby, from the first moment they meet and vice versa.
Toby and Rain start a furtive relationship of handjobs and BJs – they aren’t even really sure they like one another. But… as time passes Toby wants more. He asks for and gets a date.
The “date” shows them both there is more to their ‘relationship’ than just quick getting-off.
Rain has a past – where he’s been hurt, so he’s guarded. Toby doesn’t trust easily and has a confusing relationship with his current boss that muddies the waters.
Then there’s the sheep…
In the end these guys make their way to a HEA and there’s stripping!
I have to tell you that this story just didn’t do it for me. I kept starting and stopping and putting it away, hoping for inspiration at another time.
Finally, I just pushed through and though there are some moments that are funny, some hot sex scenes and some tender declarations, I was never “moved”.
For me there just wasn’t that “hook” where you get invested in the characters or the story and just “have to keep reading/listening” to find out what happens next.
I just didn’t really care all that much. The writing was fine and the narrator Matthew Lloyd Davies did a fine job – in fact he did a great job – but I was just never that caught up in the story. Matthew gives everyone a different voice and that really added to the overall enjoyment.
I think the other thing that made this story hard for me was it’s length. There is a lot of side-story going on: the exes, the boss, the sheep, the fathers, the town drought… it got distracting.
So… I would definitely look to this author again – I can see that she has definite talent, but this story just didn’t flip any of my switches.
I give it 3 of 5 hearts for the narration because he did such a great job and the story wasn’t bad, just not terrific.