Bent Oak Saga
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Gil Porter and Matt Grayson’s Bent Oak Ranch in Mercy, Texas, is a rare haven for gay men in the nineteenth century, and their friend Carlos Hernandez will need it when a man from his past unexpectedly comes back into his life.
Jules Wingate hopes to start over in Mercy as the schoolmaster after a scandal sent him and his son fleeing their former home. But he discovers he’s left one bad situation for another when he encounters his former student and lover, Carlos. No matter how Jules tries to resist, he yearns for the passionate connection they once shared… before Carlos broke his heart.
Carlos knows his foolish, immature actions hurt Jules, but he desperately wants a second chance and to show Jules he’s changed. But trust so badly broken is hard to repair. While he works to earn Jules’s forgiveness, someone else at the ranch has his sights set on Carlos—and he doesn’t care how many lives he has to ruin to make Carlos his and his alone.
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Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Tropes: Second Chances
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
If Carlos Hernandez is not the most patient cowboy in the great state of Texas in the late 1890s then surely he is the most hopeful as his past, in the form of schoolmaster Jules Wingate, collides with his presence at a big shindig in the sweet town of Mercy.
This continuation of the tales of men loving men at the Bent Oak Ranch, is infinitely more obvious to the MCs than were the more reserved and frustrating dances by Gil and Matt in the first book. Here we have former lovers accidentally reunited after 10 years--years during which Carlos came to rights with how selfishly and cruelly he left Jules behind after a year-long affair.
This brought Jules to despair, and when he recovered he found a soul mate in a single mother and seven-year-old boy. He married her in an arrangement of love but no sex, she took ill and died, and he raised his stepson Al as if he was his own.
Now Carlos and Jules have come across each other's paths again, and in a very clever plot twist introduced early in the book, they are forced by circumstances to live basically together during which time Jules strongly resists every deeply respectful entreaty to give their love a second chance.
How that comes about and moves right along into a really nasty little crisis is entertaining, heartwarming and quite predictable. But in the end you get your money's worth and your soul satisfied.
My only regret is that it doesn't look like author McKay has left any hints as to whether or not this series will continue, but we can hope.