Saturday, June 25, 2011

Earth and Sky

Title: Earth and Sky
Author: Zahra Owens
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61581-835-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Western, Sequel
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Even with the help of his family, Hunter Krause knows running a ranch is hard work, especially when good wranglers are hard to find. When horses start disappearing, they need another hired hand and Hunter isn’t happy when his best friend, and foreman, hires Grant Jarreau, a man he thinks abandoned an injured lover. Despite Hunter’s strong misgivings, he gets aroused every time he and Grant get close to each other. He’s upset, unsettled and frustrated and doesn’t know what to do, but after sharing one kiss, Hunter realizes what his life’s been missing. As the men move into a committed relationship, all kinds of things keep getting in their way…the family is in crisis, horses keep disappearing and worst of all, Grant is hiding something. Will these two be able to survive the turmoil surrounding them or will it be too much to bear, destroying their new and fragile bond? 

Earth and Sky is the newest release by Zahra Owens. It’s the sequel to Clouds and Rain and as such, I recommend it be read first. 

I liked Hunter and Grant’s story from the first page. The author did a nice job slowly altering their strained, almost adversarial relationship to that of friends and lovers. Yes, it might have started off as lust but the change was handled believably, making me root for these two intriguing men. That’s particularly true because Hunter lived the life of a straight man and Ms. Owens convincingly shows his apprehension and fear at the idea of being gay. 

Hunter’s numerous family members are another strong plus for the story. They definitely give depth, interest and multiple opportunities for interaction with Hunter and Grant, both enriching and helping to move the plot along. These people are likeable and while much of what is going on sounds like a soap opera; life is a soap opera and often filled with drama.  There are other secondary characters too. You see Gable and Flynn, and we meet a few other really interesting individuals important to Grant. 

I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding the horses missing from Hunter’s ranch, but wasn’t terribly surprised when the villain was revealed in the end. But that’s okay. It was still a nice plot device that got all the characters involved and working together to solve their problem. Happy reading.

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