Author ~ Julie Lynn Hayes
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 23rd November 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Rose and Thorne: Book Three
Secrets is a dirty word when it comes to relationships. What you don’t say can not only hurt you, it can bite you in the butt.
After almost five years together, Vinnie and Ethan have a policy of don’t ask, don’t tell. But unspoken questions between them are a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode. An innocent remark by a friend starts an insecure Vinnie wondering about things he never considered before… such as why he hasn’t met Ethan’s family. Is he the love of Ethan’s life or just his dirty little secret? And what hasn’t he told Ethan about his own past?
An emergency phone call from Ethan’s twin sister sends them rushing to Georgia. In order to be with Ethan, Vinnie conforms to what Ethan’s family expects by being something he is not. Not everything is what it seems as Vinnie and Ethan work to redefine what family means to each of them.
Sometimes the ties that bind are the ones that might just break you.
The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.
This is the third book in the Rose and Thorne series. It can be read as a standalone but there are references to previous books and it would help if you’ve read them although that’s not actually necessary.
I am very fond of Ms. Hayes’ work and have been since I first started to read it. The Rose and Thorne series are my favourite books so far. I warmed immediately to Vinnie and Ethan, there is something about their dynamic that really appeals to me.
Vinnie is a mass of insecurities and Ethan is very much a stabilizing influence; his rock. Their relationship is playful and flirty with plenty of depth and warmth. The stories are all quirky but with their share of drama. There’s plenty to keep you interested even though it’s not edge-of-the street stuff and angst per-se is at a minimum. From murderous drag queens, to psychotic actresses and bible bashing ministers, the series has it all.
There were a few tiny niggles in this book and one big one (see next paragraph) that took away half a star. One small one was the use of the word “fairly”. This form of passive voice is a bugbear. For example “he fairly snarled at her”. Well, either he snarled or he didn’t. How does fairly add to or qualify that? There are a couple of other words that do the same thing and they annoy me too. On the up side, one of – maybe the biggest of – my pet peeves is the misuse of the words lay and lie. It’s so endemic that some grammar sites/dictionaries contain notes to the blatant errors are so widespread they’re becoming accepted. All well and good but it’s still wrong. I was so happy to see Ms Hayes always got it right!
The other thing that didn’t sit right with me was how quickly the Reverend was converted. His character had been built up as being cold, controlling and reserved, but he did a complete about turn overnight. I would have preferred if the acceptance had been harder won – a chink in the armour that can widen and fall away bit by bit. That being said, it was a very satisfactory ending.
There are loose threads still dangling – like are Heather and Joseph having an affair, what secrets is Vinny still hiding, and what is Ethan going to do about the FBI offer, but as there are more books to come in the series I’m not worried about that at all because I trust they will be wrapped up later.
There are some very touching scenes, especially with Ethan’s mother, and when Vinnie is talking about his past. Some difficult subjects are handled sensitively and with grace.
One of my favourite things about the book is that sex is hot, real and is about more than just giving the reader a thrill. Ms Hayes doesn’t write “chicks with dicks” she writes men with sex on their minds, sometimes at inappropriate times, and when they do have sex it’s with panache and always adds to the story
On the whole, there is very little to complain about with this book. I have enjoyed all the Rose and Thorne books in different ways and I love that each story is self contained and very different from each other yet wholly consistent. They’re easy read books and leave you feeling warm, and with a smile on your face.