Sam wants nothing to do with his irresponsible, sarcastic neighbor...or does he?
Sam McAuley is having a rough start to the summer: Not only is he being sued, but the new guy running the animal rehabilitation center next door has no idea what he’s doing and his runaway chickens constantly end up in Sam’s pristine yard.
Everything is temporary for Bo Novak. For as long as he can remember, it’s been one town to the next, one school to the next, one job to the next. Even his current job—running his sister’s animal rehab center while she’s away on a four-month leave—is temporary. And he does know what he’s doing, thank you very much. Sure, things don’t always run smoothly, but the stick-in-the-mud next door could be a little nicer about it.
One overheard conversation, an olive branch, and a baseball game might show these guys that being at odds isn’t really what they want, and that what they want might just be each other.
- 2 Read lists
Publisher: MLR Press
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Big Character / Little Character, Enemies to Lovers, Hurt / Comfort
Word Count: 37000
Setting: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Languages Available: English
The chicken was in his yard again. Ugly red wattle dangling beneath its beak like loose jowls, brown feathers puffed in an inflated sense of superiority. On any other day Sam normally wouldn’t have cared so much about the mess it was making of his garden, but this was the third time in as many days, the magazine crew would be here within the hour, and he’d told Bo to fix his damn fence.
Sighing, Sam set his mug on the counter. He really hadn’t had enough coffee yet to deal with this.
He walked out of the kitchen and down the hall to the front door, where he put on a pair of flip flops before exiting his house. Down the driveway, a left at the tiny gravel sidewalk, around the hedges in Bo’s yard, up Bo’s driveway. The early June sun pierced his eyes. He knocked on the front door and waited for Bo to answer.READ MORE
Ever since Bo had taken over running Big Sky—the animal rehabilitation center next door to Sam’s—four weeks ago from his sister, Laura, it had been one disaster after another. Damaged enclosures, a pygmy goat with diarrhea, equipment that didn’t work, flooding in the cows’ pen after a bad rainfall, a yappy pair of not-quite-housebroken puppies. And now? Broken fences and runaway chickens.
The door opened, revealing a rumpled Bo dressed in old jeans, hiking boots, and a T-shirt streaked with dirt. He was out of breath, as if he’d run to the front door. The pair of dirty work gloves in his hand told Sam he’d probably been working out back.
The unsure smile on Bo’s face turned into a scowl when he saw who stood on his doorstep at nine in the morning. Sam ignored how cute Bo’s frowny face was and drew himself up to his full six-foot-three height. Bo was not his type. Too short, too lean, eyes too brown, hair too blond. Too flaky, too temperamental, too feisty, too…too much.
Nope. Not Sam’s type at all.
Bo’s hands went to his hips. He looked like a knight defending his domain. A tiny, skinny one with a bad attitude.
“What now?” he snapped.
“You didn’t fix the fence,” Sam said.
Sam held up a hand, cutting Bo off. “Look. I know you know what day it is. The crew’s going to be here in less than an hour. The last thing I need is your chicken masquerading as a prison escapee messing up my garden.” Bo’s lips twitched at that, but Sam ignored how that made him feel and continued. “Fix your goddamn fence. And get your chicken out of my yard.” Bo opened his mouth to speak but Sam didn’t give him the chance. He turned and descended the porch steps. “Oh.” He turned back to find Bo still frowning at him, lips pressed in a tight line. “And if your chickens keep escaping, maybe there’s something wrong with the chicken coop?”
The slamming door at his back was surprisingly satisfactory.COLLAPSE
I enjoyed this a lot!
As Big as the Sky is the first book I’ve read by Amy Aislin and I liked it a lot. As far as I can tell she’s a fairly new author with only two books showing on Goodreads. Based on this story, I think she has a bright future as an author.
As Big as the Sky has a lot of interesting elements. Sam and Bo are living next door to each other because Bo is house-sitting for his sister. He’s also managing her animal rehabilitation center while she is away for two months. Sam is angry because one Bo’s chickens keeps getting loose and messing up is garden which is going to be photographed for a magazine.
Bo is lonely and thought he might find a friend in Sam based on all of the good things his sister had to say about him. He’s disappointed when the man he meets seems to dislike everything about Bo.
Sam has a lot on his mind. There’s the magazine photo shoot and he’s being sued for copyright infringement. When he over hears Bo talking to himself about how Sam has treated him and he feels like a first-class jerk.
After Sam apologizes and mends fences with Bo, the two of them realize how much they have in common and their relationship takes off. Sam is dismayed to find out how badly Bo’s sister is using him just because Bo hasn’t made up his mind what he wants to do with his life. That portion of the story made my heart ache.
Amy Aislin manages to pack a lot of different things into this story without it being too much. I was surprised at how much depth there is to the story considering that it’s only 140 pages long. I became so engrossed in the while reading that I didn’t put it down until I’d finished all of it.
I will definitely watch for more books by this author.