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Review: Long Winter by Rachel Ember Leave a comment


Rating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

Robbie Chase has lived on the family ranch all of his life. His father died when he was a teen, leaving him to raise his two younger brothers, Danny and Johnny. Now that his brothers have left, Robbie is alone figuring out what is next for him. He does know he has to take care of the animals through the cold winter and, as more weather is set to fall, Robbie gets an unexpected call from Danny that Lance is in jail and needs Robbie to pick him up.

Lance Taylor was Danny’s best friend growing up and became part of the family. Lance doesn’t remember his mother and he would rather forget his abusive father. Lance has been in love with Robbie since he first saw him as a young boy. Robbie made sure that Lance was warm and fed, but when Lance reached out for something more and Robbie wasn’t receptive, Lance left town.

It’s been six years since Lance has been back and he certainly didn’t think the county jail would be where he would spend his first night. He has nowhere to go and Robbie was the very last person Lance expected to see and the last person he expected to be sharing a one bed loft with. While the men have a lot to figure out, now that they’re older Lance’s crush might not be so one-sided after all.

If you downloaded books from the Winter Wonderland giveaway in January, Long Winter may sound familiar to you as it was available through that promotion and is now for sale. The book has a non-linear style at times, as it starts present day and then flashback to childhood stories for both Lance and Robbie.

Lance grew up with his father who drank too much and while he didn’t physically harm Lance, Lance went without almost everything, including proper clothes and food. He admired the Chase boys, especially how their older brother Robbie took such good care of them, and Lance spent every moment he could get away from his father with the Chase boys. Robbie was several years older and loved Lance the same as he loved his brothers and considered him family, but never thought of Robbie as a potential romantic partner. Now that Lance is grown up, things have changed.

This is a slower, quieter book that is focused on both Lance and Robbie’s character development. Robbie left a controlling boyfriend and now has to figure out how to get the arrest charges dropped against him and get his belongings back. He made a small name for himself in the modeling world and being with Robbie is everything he has ever wanted.

For reasons, Robbie is unable to leave the family ranch. We learn a lot about what Robbie has done on the ranch in the past, but not a lot about what he is currently doing for substantial income. I felt there was a lot missing from Robbie’s story. His father died when he was a teen and his brothers were 4 and 8 years old. It is never mentioned what happened to their mother, it’s never mentioned how Robbie is supporting them all, and we never learn how Robbie seemed to seamlessly care for his brothers and the entire ranch after his father died. When Lance was without warm clothes, we learn that the Chase family (through Robbie) provided that as well, and I needed a lot more detail to pull Robbie’s story together.

As for Robbie and Lance’s current relationship, they are a natural fit and their intimate time together has a tender feel. This book ends with a HFN and their story will continue as the snow melts in Signs of Spring and I am invested enough in their relationship to read on.

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