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Two years after watching Anderson walk out of the prison gates, Lem has a visitor who informs him that Anderson desperately needs his help. He scoffs at the idea until he is given an offer that he cannot refuse. He doesn’t know if he is finally ready to make peace with himself outside prison, or if he is ready to face the pain he has caused, but he also understands that he will never get another chance like this.
Anderson has tried to push Lem to the back of his heart, but he cannot find anyone who can measure up to the man that Lem was. Letters he meant to send sit on the table, and the dreams he had about rebuilding his life go by the wayside as he pines for a man he cannot have. He doesn’t believe he will ever be happy again and finds it increasingly difficult to keep up the cheerful facade his family expects.
But unknown to Anderson, the women in his life have colluded to bring him and Lem back together again. Will he and Lem rekindle their love, or will they burn everyone around them by falling back to their past mistakes?
I was riveted by Lem and Anderson in ‘Cold’. It was gripping, intense and thrilling. I could NOT wait to see how their impossible ‘ever after’ became possible. It was a breath of fresh air having questions answered. I welcomed their secrets with open arms. And yet, as much as I tried to embrace them, I didn’t feel it was evenly returned. For some reason, I felt detached at times.
Maybe my expectations were too high, maybe the daunting mysteries were finally solved, or maybe it was simply more superficial than I anticipated. Big moments didn’t shine for me, nightmares from the past didn’t haunt me and the passion almost came across clinical. Except for the fantasy-come-true under the stars, that was probably one of my favorite scenes.
Ultimately what let me down was the subdued passion. The pieces came together, however it was seamless…and perhaps too smoothly?
I felt the beginning of their story; ‘Cold’ captured me and never set me free. I am sad to say, ‘Heart of Timber’ ricocheted, barely leaving a mark. Now, don’t get me wrong, I thought it was good, just not exceptional.
The story spans over 5 years. I enjoyed this stretch of time. It was lovely watching them grow, rebuild and strengthen. Early on, Lem is tempted with an offer he can’t refuse. He jumps through hoops and finds himself taking a walk down a path he never dreamed he would have the privilege to take. A secluded slice of heaven awaits him. If only it was dinner for two around the campfire, well, life would be good.
Anderson is struggling to get his shit together. Working his way through a list of boyfriends, attempting to restore his life, and allowing his sister to clean up his messes….not much has changed. When the mountain man from his dreams appears in front of him, he doesn’t want to know how, he doesn’t want to know why, he just wants. Questions can wait.
Anderson’s selfish behavior did not surprise me. The force to be reckoned with, aka Gia, did not surprise me. Lem’s sense of humor shocked the hell out of me. It was refreshing, startling, and…odd. I longed to see his soul put back together again, and I was gratified. His presence was even bigger when liberated. I would have told you it was impossible for me to adore Lem any more, but I’d be wrong.
Back in his element he is free; but to truly soar, he needs to finally forgive himself and leave his sins in the past. Can he do so, or will he continue to allow guilt to restrain him?
If you are wondering if you will find out the story behind Lem’s tattoo, the reason behind Russell’s death, and what miracles must unfold for Lem to ditch his life sentence for a second chance… then yes, yes and YES!
Lem was perfect. Anderson was striving to be perfect. It was almost too good.
I just wanted my heart to race, my palms to sweat, my breath to catch…and I’d be lying if I said it did.
Title: Heart of Timber (Cold #2)
Author: Brandon Shire
Publisher: TPG Books
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Purchase Links: Smashwords