Sunday, July 15, 2012

Alone in a Crowd

Title: Alone in a Crowd
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781781840290
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Ryan Blackfeather likes to help people and takes his job and responsibilities as sheriff of Cattle Valley seriously. He loves his partners, Rio and Nate, and together they’ve built a good life together. But there’s still a part of him that feels insecure and when he gets a call that requires him to return to Oklahoma, he refuses to allow them to accompany him. He’s too embarrassed about where he came from and the life he had with his parents. Ryan goes alone.  

Instead of giving him answers, the trip only opens up more questions. He’s unhappy, surly and won’t let Rio and Nate help him through one of the roughest periods of his life. He’s in pain and still looking for acceptance from his father and that means a return trip to Oklahoma to confront the past, so he can move forward with his future.  

Alone in a Crowd is the latest release in Carol Lynne’s Cattle Valley series. Since the books have multiple recurring characters and relationships, reading them in order would be best. 

As a general rule, putting Ryan, Rio and Nate together tends to be sexually explosive but this time, the book focuses on Ryan’s family history and how it’s affected him. I liked learning more about his growing up years and feel sad he didn’t want his partners to be involved—that he was ashamed of where he’d come from. Ms. Lynne expressed these intense, painful and raw emotions well. But what I particularly enjoyed is Ryan’s ability to work through his childhood issues and grow, moving past some of the pain that had haunted him for so long. Don’t get me wrong. He isn’t able to work out everything but he did get some of the closure he needed and it’s expressed well. The emotional support given by Rio and Nate is handled nicely. Its firm without being overwhelming—enough to let Ryan know he’s loved. And the guys still manage to get in some sizzling hot sex—outside, while at dinner—naked, with food, which some might find off-putting.

Now for the rest of the story. There’s another secondary romance interwoven into the plot. It’s Smokey, who just returned to town, and shopkeeper Elliott. It’s a much shorter part of the whole plot and as much as I’m indifferent to Smokey, it’s nice to know what had happened to him in the months since he left town. He’s dealings with old enemies and new friends are nicely done. I just wish I knew more about Elliot.

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