Wednesday, February 19
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Series: The Cowboys #2
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Publisher: Penguin Group
Date/Year: January 21, 2014
Reviewed by: Andrea
*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Summary from the publisher:
Jimmy Rafferty and Eddie Molina go way back at the J-Bar ranch. They’ve worked together, bunked together, camped out, and drank together. So how has Jimmy failed to notice that Eddie is gay? Eddie has not failed to notice that his friend has a serious drinking problem, and he’s determined to help Jimmy kick the booze cold turkey.
Taking him up to a snowbound cabin to detox, Eddie is confronted with Jimmy’s fierce denial. But the pains of withdrawal are nothing for Jimmy compared with the heartache of denying his true feelings and his deep longing…for the one man who cares for him more than anyone else on earth.
I feel as though I need to confess a few things before I start on the review. Just so you all know, I don’t have a thing for cowboys. If anything, I try to avoid cowboy books. I also have a very strong aversion to alcoholics, and Jimmy is an alcoholic. That made for two strikes against this book before I even started reading. There was only one thing which could overcome those two things, and that’s the author. Z.A. Maxfield is one of my favorite romance authors. I was willing to read about things I don’t like just because of her, she’s that good.
In book one, MY COWBOY HEART, Jimmy and Eddie were secondary characters and spent most of their time in the background. In MY HEARTACHE COWBOY, you get to know them so much better. Jimmy is an out of control alcoholic who is at risk of losing everything because of his drinking. His long time friend and coworker, Eddie, decides to take matters into his own hands. He kidnaps Jimmy, takes him to a secluded cabin and then proceeds to force the reality of the situation down Jimmy’s throat. Through tough love, he gives Jimmy uncensored honesty and no choice but to suffer through the agony of detox.
I’ve got very little sympathy for addicts. They manipulate, they lie, and they violate the trust of the people who love them. You can imagine my surprise when I found myself not only sympathizing with, but also identifying with Jimmy. I wanted this man to turn his life around, and was pulling so hard for him throughout the entire ordeal. I fell for this man even though I knew it was setting me up to be disappointment if he failed. That alone is a testament to character development. The author made me care about a man I didn’t want to let into my heart.
It has been obvious since the first book that Eddie and Jimmy have a unique relationship. They bicker like an old married couple but are inseparable. The only thing lacking was the physical relationship. That began to change in this book, and the catalyst of that change was a man named Don. The chemistry between these three men was palpable. A good threesome is hard to find, but Z.A. Maxfield nailed it in this book. Seriously, I had to take a break from reading to go change my underwear. Eddie, Jimmy, and Don were that hot!
I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t just the hot sex, although that was definitely a part of it. :) I cared deeply about all three of these men. Jimmy and Don had to force their way into my heart, but they did and I love them all the more for it. I felt Jimmy’s torment and frustration when faced with conquering his addiction. I felt Eddie’s desperation while watching the man he loved destroy himself. I had so much respect for the way Don not only brought Eddie and Jimmy together, but how he always knew his position in the relationship and knew when to step back.
This book pushed me into uncomfortable territory on more than one occasion. I love when a book does that. I don’t care if this is only January, MY HEARTACHE COWBOY is going on my “favorites of 2014” shelf. I highly recommend this book.
Overall: 4.75 stars
Sensuality level: 4 (M/M/M, toys, bondage, and very steamy scenes)
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