I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Everyone knows that bonds formed under extreme circumstances never last.
Harbor Patrol officer Neal Hesse has had his life turned upside down by a sudden break-up with his partner of ten years. After sleeping his way through Seattle failed to take his mind off his broken heart, he decides to take a leave of absence from work to find himself again. He hires a professional wilderness guide to take him up into the mountains, so he can get away from everything and live off the grid for a few days.
Travis “Rock” McCreary, ex-Army Ranger turned survivalist, hates doing guided excursions, but it’s his primary source of income while he’s working towards getting his own survival show. Working in such a testosterone-fueled profession has forced him so deep into the closet, he feels like he might never see the light of day again, which makes it even harder to put on a friendly face for his happy, normal clients.
When Rock is hired by clumsy city-boy Neal to take him up into the North Cascades for a survival adventure, his patience and his resolve are tested at every turn. He has to teach Neal to survive in the wilderness while fighting an attraction he can’t allow himself to act on. When their trip doesn’t go as planned, Neal’s getaway turns into a true survival situation, and he and Rock are forced to rely on each other to stay alive. If they make it out of the wilderness, can their newfound connection survive in the real world?
This was a disappointment for me. I really enjoy reading this series and seeing real people connect and fall in love despite their past histories. It is stated in the blurb about dubious consent. I for one am okay with it. Or I thought I was, but when the scene came out of nowhere I was about perturbed. See, I didn’t see ANY kind of connection between the two guys, and it seemed so out of Neal’s character that I was blown away. No it isn’t the reason for the low rating, the characters played that part all on their own.
I did not connect and see any connection between the two. I’m really surprised because all the rest in the series have featured some heavy topics and I was able to deal. My issue is even at the end of the story I still didn’t see it. I didn’t think I was one of the girls who needed a HEA, hell I’m okay with a HFN and I truly am. What I’m not okay with is forcing the two together for the sake of a story. I just didn’t buy it. Rock is so far in the closet he’s damn near in Narnia. Its not a bad thing per-say, everyone has to live their own truths at their own time. For me, Rock was an even harder person to like. How can he fall for someone when the reader can’t seem to like him. I know in my head that there are people like him in everyday life, but when reading and trying to escape I tend to want the guys romanticism to be real for a bit. Neal doesn’t seem in the correct head space in even of the story. I understand why he took the trip, but from the beginning to the end Neal doesn’t seem like Neal. I feel like everything physical that they did together was way outside of Neal’s energy and comfort zone. In my head, everything about them seemed forced. Its not how I like my characters or story.
We can see that I’m upset that it didn’t go out the others did. The one reason that I like this series is because of the realistic feeling I get while reading it. I like that every book had to deal with something from each guy’s past. Yeah they had issues as well, but between the missed connection and the ABUNDANCE of wilderness information it was no way to learn about each other deeply, or grow into something for the future. I can’t recommend it in good conscience.