Music and mountains and cowboys… oh my! Dolorianne brings us some thoughts about a new-to-her author and the book that left a fantastic impression on her.
Author: Timothy Warren
Series: Tales of the Circle, #1
Release Date: May 12, 2020
Review Copy: borrowed/KU
Most people would love Alec’s life… great job… hot boyfriend… and a beautiful brownstone in DC’s gay mecca, Dupont Circle. But within a single night, things change…
His best friend, Demarco, supports Alec’s bold decision of seeking a new perspective… a change that begins across the country, in a cabin atop Beulah Mountain. Alec was not looking for a man… wanted nothing of the sort. But a strong-willed cowboy named Tyler enters his life as spontaneous as the snow of Montana’s winter.
Unpredictable as a mountain storm, Alec and Tyler soon find themselves entwined in a fierce love affair… raw, real, and unlike any other Alec has ever had. But Tyler belongs to Montana. Will their passion be enough to keep them together? Will Alec learn to forgive his past missteps and accept that he deserves the happiness that can only come from a man so genuine… so giving… and so TRUE?
I added the book to my TBR during the initial release blitz, but the author’s recent appearance on a fellow author’s virtual chat had me pushing it up my list. The overall cover treatment and blurb leans into a cowboy theme, and hearing him talk about the series reinforced my expectation of contemporary stories with well timed, humorous quips.
What I Loved:
The story starts with a great friendship between our 1st main character, Alec, and his longtime best friend. I always love a great friendship thread in a story. Their conversations, habits, and support were significant interactions from page one.
I appreciated that the initial conflict was internal. Yes, there were on-page events that may have re-confirmed that Alec was doing the right thing, but he was the driving force in his own destiny. And to some extent, the same can be said for Tyler later in the story.
I loved the small town of Melody and its people. Alec’s debut into town didn’t go quite as planned, giving him a fun introduction to Tyler right off the bat, and led to interesting encounters with each new resident he met. Many of the expected “character types” were present, but they never felt like stereotypes. Another case of the author crafting full fledged identities instead of props for the romantic pair.
Tyler was a great match for Alec and a strong leading man in his own right. He’s been through some stuff; he’s not perfect. But he has a great sense of humor and a comforting presence that was a joy to read. I liked their quick friendship and how obvious they were for each other. I’m not a general fan of insta-love, but sometimes it’s so clear from the start that I just need to take my brain out of the equation and just go with it. I can only describe their romance as smooth.
I loved the music theme that ran through the story. Each man had a different, yet important relationship to music, serving as another point of connection between them. The author’s song choices were particularly exciting. Instead of just plugging in an artist’s most popular hit, the songs were well-worn favorites of longtime fans. With youtube at the ready, I gave myself a mini concert with each new song mentioned.
What I Didn’t Love:
Two specific events made me catch my breath. However, it’s only because I didn’t like what happened as part of the conflict, not because of any fault of the author. In fact, I’d say he did such a great job making me care about these characters that I was outraged on their behalf.
Aside from my overall recommendation of this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance, the only thing left to mention is that there wasn’t much cowboying in this cowboy book. I didn’t mind, but others specifically looking for more ranch life may need to adjust expectations before diving in.