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Rustic Memory Kindle Edition
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The book starts out with a heart breaking, riveting scene from 15 years prior to his return, and after a while we are wandering into deja vu territory, slowly at first but then with tremendous aftershocks. We get to know why Tyler is so apparently cold in slow spurts, and we come to see how Mac reacts and helps heal this man who has been dealt a hand none of us would want.
Author Nic Starr has written a very tight, very gripping follow-up here in which (I would guess) the next book in the series is clearly forecast. But she does it in a way that will eventually lift your spirits and put a nice warm feeling in your belly.
I enjoy an angsty story, and this one delivered, Tyler's grief making him unwilling to commit to any kind of relationship. I loved that this story was centred around the pub, and that the characters in the first book made their reappearance. Great follow up to the first book.
Tyler (Ty) has had a tragic past. He leaves home after school and spends time in the big city but has returned to small town Armidale to heal his broken heart. He has a strained relationship with his parents and isn’t looking to ever fall in love again.
Mac has lived in Armidale all his life and is running the family electrical business. He was the ‘annoying little brother’ of a friend of Ty’s many years ago and admired Ty from afar when they were younger. He is hoping that now that Ty is home, maybe something can come of his attraction. But, Mac’s heart is involved and Ty is trying not to get hearts involved in their interactions.
I loved both these characters. Ty is hesitant about love and is struggling to settle back into his home town without people digging into his past. Small town people, however, are always nosy! He tries to be evasive, he gets defensive, but eventually details start unfolding as the story progresses about his life in the city. As the reader, you are also left in the dark as to a lot of his past until the story moves along a bit. This really helps keep the reader interested in turning the pages!
Rustic Memory starts out with a prologue featuring Ty’s final year in high school. You witness the tragic death of his secret boyfriend and the absolutely heart wrenching emotions that are experienced as a result. You can feel his grief and unfortunately it makes it blatantly obvious to the town that he is gay. I loved having this insight but it left me a bit confused when we moved into the actual beginning of ‘grownup Ty’s’ story. I would have maybe liked to see a bit more of a transition between the prologue and the story itself….maybe a chapter or two of Ty’s life in the city, just to tie them together a little.
Mac is friendly and outgoing. A great friend and loving son. He denies it but really wants to settle into a relationship and get his happily ever after. He is completely confused by Ty’s hot and cold behavior. Just when he thinks they are starting to connect, Ty pulls away and gives him the cold shoulder. I think he put up with WAY too much from Ty. I know his heart was involved but Ty was a total jerk occasionally and deserved a good smack upside the head.
You get both main characters points of view in this story, although I felt like I got to know Ty better than I did Mac. Many of the secondary characteristics from book one (Rustic Melody) make another appearance here as well. Overall, this is a sweet story that reminds us that the heart wants what the heart wants, no matter what the head tries to tell it. It takes time but these two guys do get their happily ever after.
In addition to the small town setting in the first two books, all of the characters are small business owners. I like that troupe as well.
I normally would review each book individually but am going to do the cut and past on all three. Each book is a delight with well written plot and characters and I had a week of enjoyment with my bedtime reading of them as a series.