Wow, this book was... intense. I loved Roe! I appreciated that he wasn't written with the full cowboy dialect (caint, ridin', etc.) but I still heard him that way in my head, and it made him so fun to listen to as the narrator--even when the things he was telling me were hard to hear.
I also loved Travis, which I wasn't sure I was going to. I don't always like big age gaps, but theirs totally worked. I loved how human Travis was: how obviously delighted he was to have found Roe, how he knew his own strengths and weaknesses and never pretended to be something that he wasn't, and how carefully and thoughtfully he worked to help Roe overcome the things he needed to, while still making sure his own needs were met.There are two things that I try to avoid when I'm looking for new books to read: fisting and babies. And here I managed to find one book that includes both.
I ended up being surprised by how okay I was with the fisting and the parts that led up to that. It was handled so sweetly and both Roe and Travis were so earnest and so awed to be sharing something like that throughout all of it that it made it okay.
The baby thing, however... Ugh! One of the reasons I switched to m/m was to get away from the damn babies, and it seems like they're popping up all over the place lately. It might just be due to a series of unfortunate book choices lately, but it seems like more authors are jumping on the "yay! babies for same-sex couples" kick. Which in RL is fine, I'm so proud that this is becoming more and more accepted. But I don't like babies in in my romance novels! For me babies distract from the story, even derail it at the worst of times.
For instance, the way it was phrased in this one, Roe made it sound like the only reason he could finally call Nowhere Ranch home was because of the baby. Seeing as how I'd just spent an entire book reading about Roe and Travis learning to trust and to love each other, having Roe say that about the baby seemed to diminish what he'd build with Travis. Blah. I know this is 100% my personal opinion and that Roe wouldn't have had a home to give the baby without Travis, so he's not discounting Travis, but including him... but whatever. That's how it came across to me.
Another thing I loved in this book was the Kayla/Haley dichotomy. I love that Haley stood up for Roe and said all the things I kind of wanted to say to Kayla after how she's been treating Roe. And I loved that Roe didn't sit back and let her counter anger with more anger, but stepped between them and calmly tried to get them both to stop. I love that he finally is able to distance himself enough to realize that their words are just words and that he doesn't have to listen to or believe either side if he doesn't choose to.