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My Forever, My Always: Men Of Crooked Bend Book 1 Kindle Edition
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Simon is a rancher with a law degree at 30 and is ready to settle down. While he works with his family, they all seem to have degrees in something else as well as run their ranch and I assume they’ll all get a story, but this one is Simon’s. While this is a cute story and a bit long it’s still cutesy given that these boys both take to one another right away.
Sean is a well known architect, in business with his brother Jasper. Jasper, I wasn’t a fan of in the beginning… he seemed douchey and had no respect for Sean in their shared living space. That put me off immediately… I also found it a bit unbelievable that with two dads, all three sons turned out gay. I’m sure it happens, don’t get me wrong and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it…obviously… but, it’s just not something that you find happening, normally. I dunno, I’m being too critical, I know.
While I’m being that way, I’ll also mention the overuse of one’s name in this, drove me bananas! “Hello, Simon, how are you Simon? I’m well Sean, thank you, Sean. How are you today, Sean?” Why? Just, why? Am I being too irritable? Perhaps, but man, did it drive me crazy!!
Then we hit the halfway mark and I expected the cute story to end with a nice little HEA and maybe a hint of the next story, but then a bunch of random stuff got thrown in…. kidnapping and blackmail? It was all a big stretch and was just so unnecessary, in my opinion. Also, if anyone follows my reviews at all, it’s no secret that I HATE when the bad guy gets away with being the bad guy. I need karmic justice!
Overall though, even though this seems kind of ranty… the story between Sean and Simon was a cute one and I’m glad they ended up happy and together. This is my first by this author and I’m not sure about the second one, because like I said, I’m wasn’t a fan of Jasper, but…. I’ll admit, I’m curious enough to check it out.
3 stars for me with this one.
*I received this story from the publisher with the promise of an honest and unbiased review*
My Forever, My Always is the first book from new author Taylor Rylan and the start of her Men of Crooked Bend series. Simon comes from a large, loving family that all works together on the family ranch. Simon is ready to find love, settle down and have a family but unfortunately, Wyoming doesn't have many options for a gay man and he can't leave his home and family behind. Sean and his brother moved to Wyoming and opened their architectural business. Sean was raised by two fathers and his twin and younger brother are all gay. Sean has reached a point in his life that he's ready to find love, create a home and family. When Sean and Simon meet, it doesn't take long before the men's attraction grows to more and they've both found what they're looking for.
I think this is a really great start for a new author. I found the families to be a big part of why I loved this story. This first book introduces A LOT of people who are very involved throughout. And this book starts from before Simon and Sean met, through to their honeymoon. It was a lot, but I find this fairly typical in many first books in a series.
There were some areas that I think will improve and grow as the author continues writing. But, in this book, I found the lack of contractions made the conversations seemed stilted. It becomes a joke later in the book about Sean not using contractions, but it wasn't just his dialog that lacked them, it was the majority of them. There was a lot of repetition throughout the book. Sometimes it would be a three-sentence paragraph repeating the same thing in three different ways. Some examples to explain:
*We were told Simon parked his truck in the garage and about how lonely he is. And in the next chapter, we were told Simon went to get into his truck in the garage where he parked it last night and how lonely he is.
*"I normally was not nervous when meeting with potential or new clients, but for some reason, I was. I could not quite explain it, but for some reason I was nervous and anxious."
*"I just thought that the guys might not necessarily want to live in the same building as the horses. I understand that they work with them all day long but thought that that does not necessarily mean that they want to sleep with them, does it?" Sean replied with a grin.
*"I hated to do it but I was basically given no choice but to pretty much corner Rhett in order to get him to talk to me. In the end I was glad that I went ahead and cornered him and got him to talk to me because he ended up spending hours talking to me."
If this type of issue was cleaned up, it would shorten the book but also keep the story from dragging. In a lot of series, the first book becomes the info dump and it definitely happened this time. There were a lot of characters that we met, but the story wasn't just about the relationship between Sean and Simon. It also had Ty and Graham; Jasper and a twink; Jasper and Liam; Rhett and Logan; Rhett and Travis. I know it was to just set up future books, but it really was just too much.
For Sean and Simon, the love, moving in together and HEA may have happened a little fast, especially in a book this long, but both men stated many, many, many times that they were ready for love and HEA so I found it believable that it all happened in such a short time frame. I liked that the author gave Simon piercings, which is not very common in MM books!
Overall, I enjoyed this story and am looking forward to what's upcoming for this family. I'm sure that's hard to believe after reading this review, but I do think it's a good start for a new author. This is a book and author that I think you should give a chance to!
Rating: 4 stars