Title: Waiting For Rain
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 280 pages
Rating: B List
Blurb: The village of Stamford, the quintessential chocolate box English scene, seemed an impossible dream for foster kid Toby Prentiss. Now he’s found a home among the haystacks and village fairs as the general manager for the Duck and Drake Hotel. With the fears and demons from his youth hidden away in this bucolic oasis, he’s very protective of who he lets in. Until he stumbles across shirtless carpenter Rain Engel building the hotel’s new custom-designed bar.
Working in the countryside, Rain prepared to face his biggest fear: sheep. He didn’t expect to deal with his second biggest fear: commitment. Toby’s controlled tough guy façade coupled with his “find happiness where you can” optimism calls to Rain like nothing before. While Rain may be an exhibitionist, his romantic history forces him to hold his emotions close. As their relationship develops, secrets from their pasts drive a wedge between them: the ex-boyfriend who tore apart Rain’s trust and Toby’s history with the law. But can the secrets hiding among the quirky villagers bring them together? With missing sheep, pole dancing at the winter festival, and a crippling drought, everyone is waiting for Rain.
Review: There is a sweet and romantic quality to all of Susan Mac Nicol’s books that I adore. While the characters may change and she is willing to tackle some very serious and difficult issues. There is an underlying genuine and honest kindness to her men.
What starts out with an incendiary attraction that combines with both men’s commitment issues to cause some painful sparks before the men succomb to the inevitable. Rain was still hurting and wary from the abandonment of his lover and he is not looking to find a new relationship, but he cannot stay away from Toby. Toby is instantly attracted to Rain, but with confusing feelings from his boss, and getting out of a series of bad relationships, he isn’t looking to commit himself to another guy who is going to try to control him or let him down and leave him. Been there, lived that, still aching from the scars.
While Toby’s slight stature, pretty face and obvious sexuality have caused some to underestimate him, he is nobody’s toy. He has been defending himself his entire life and won’t let anyone push him around, much less try to own him. He is such a fierce man that desperately needs love and healthy affection. His strength and survival skills really pull against his desire to be part of a true relationship, to take the chance on love and create something beautiful. When he meets Rain it might be just lust and then friendship, but there is a constant battle for something more. I loved the fight. I loved that neither one would give in or give up.
Rain is finally healing after a horrible relationship. He likes getting lost in his work and when he meets Toby he thinks he can get lost in his gorgeous body as well. He is wounded, but there is also an unmovable core to him. He won’t back down. He is intensely loyal and will do anything for someone he loves. And then in this big beautiful tough man there is a playful and sweet submissive side that both burned up the sheets and made Toby (and us readers) laugh in delight several times.
One of the great things about this book is that along with the depth of characters, the beautifully built plot, there are really fun moments. Two words my friends: Pole Dancing. I promise it adds to the story and is sexy as all hell.
I love a story of people fighting for each other. I love ones that break down walls and cause people to grow and push outside their comfort zones. This is a great example of that and I enjoyed this book a great deal.
Reviewed by Beans