The Quality of Mercy

Bent Oak Saga

by Ari McKay

The Quality of Mercy - Ari McKay
Part of the Bent Oak Saga series:
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 5.38 USD
Pages: 175
Paperback - First Edition: $ 14.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1640800847
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 200

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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Reviews: Bo on Amazon wrote:

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.

About the Author

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

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