Author: Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 254 pages
Rating: A List
Thorne Lachlan knows a thing or two about getting himself safely out of a blaze. For years he fought in the world’s hot spots, a Commando with the Australian Army. Now, retired, he fights flames for the Royal Fire Service. When a grassfire brings him to Lang Downs, the next sheep station in danger, Thorne meets Ian Duncan and sparks fly that neither man can put out. But both men have ghosts from the past that stand in the way of moving beyond mutual attraction.
While Thorne longs for the home he could share with Ian at Lang Downs, he fears his own instability might make him a danger to others. And Ian’s always believed that the foster care nightmare he escaped before coming to Lang Downs would make any relationship impossible. Trust doesn’t come easily to Thorne or Ian until the fire’s aftermath forces them to see past the scars keeping them both from healing.
Review: This book was a fantastic addition to the Lang Downs series. Ms. Tachna takes you back to the sheep station in Australia several years after the first Lang Downs story. The men of Lang Downs were still just as compelling. They were a large family of farmers and ranchers who didn’t quite fit in anywhere else. In the series you see the importance of love, acceptance, and hard work. But most of all, it was all about accepting who you are and finding peace in who you learn to love.
Thorne is a broken man. His method of healing is to work focus, and to avoid. It’s not as simple as that and he comes to a crisis point when he travels to the sheep station hoping to help quell the fire that is threatening the homes of many people. Because if there is one thing worth fighting for, it’s a safe home, and he will fight to his last breath to defend this one. The open acceptance and sense of family draws him in as much it as scares him away. He fears and knows that there is something dangerous about him, and more than anything he doesn’t want to hurt anyone.
Ian is a loner on the edge of a close knit family. He has his reasons for his distance. When he meets Thorne he sees something of himself in the pain and struggles that Thorne is going through. At first he resists. Okay, at second he resists as well. But Ian and Thorne decide to try and walk this path of a relationship together.
I wept through most of this story. I adore this series, but this book felt different. It was in my opinion the diamond in the gems of this wonderful series. This book is not for the faint of heart. Ms. Tachna deals very closely with PTSD and trauma. She builds two men who are learning how to live with past experiences that have seriously wounded them.
There is nothing about this book I don’t adore. You could read it as a stand alone, but I would suggest you don’t. The central theme of family is brought full circle here and to get lost so beautifully in the middle of it was perfection. I loved visiting the men in the previous books, seeing their growth as well.
Make sure you are able to read this book with a full box of tissues, a glass of wine, and maybe even a shoulder to cry on. A magnificent member of the Lang Downs family of stories.
Reviewed By Beans