Re-released in a second edition with two new chapters and additional new content.Rachel Swift is a woman on the run.A stalker sent Rachel's world reeling. Now she's running for her life, and Bliss, CO, seems like the perfect place to hide. Bliss is a strange little town, filled with artists, nudists, and the occasional conspiracy nut. It's a good place to start over.Max and Rye are just the men to catch her.Horse trainer Max and Sheriff Rye gave up on their dream of finding one perfect woman to share long ago. Rachel walks in, and they're both in love and fighting their true natures.A town like no other….When Rachel's past catches up with her, all of Bliss is in danger. Rachel knows she should run, but how can she leave behind the love she’s found with Max and Rye and the home she’s built in Bliss? With her whole town behind her, Rachel is ready to make her stand. It's time for her to get back in the saddle and ride.
**Disclaimer: This book contains mature content. As a result, my review may contain references to content intended for mature audiences only.
I love how this story was about the journey of each of the three main characters towards becoming better versions of themselves. Rachel learns that she has the strength to fight back against her stalker, Max learns that he can be the one to show affection and to have a deeper connection to someone he cares about, Ryan learns that he needs to trust Max and to allow his brother to be the responsible one for a change.
Rachel is a woman running from an evil man, one who is willing to do anything in order to make her his. She arrives in Bliss by accident, terrified, penniless, homeless, and, most importantly, tired of running. She's tired of not having a connection, of not having any roots, any friends, and she is willing to give Bliss a chance. Throughout the book, not only does she explore her sexuality, she also learns some important things about herself. I always believed names have power. I don't know why, but I always thought that a name holds so much more than just a label, a way for people to distinguish between one person or the other. And the same turns out to be true for Rachel. Her new name gives her not only the chance to become someone else, someone without a past that seems to scare people away from her, but it also gives her a chance to find the strength she needs to fight back, to stop running and show her abuser that she is strong and that she can and will retaliate. I loved that about her. I also loved how she starts being honest with herself. She tries to hide from her feelings, but eventually she accepts them and she goes after what she wants.
Max is described as the scary twin, the closed-off one and, at times, the immature one. He doesn't give out his affections easily, but once he does, once he falls in love, he falls hard. It was interesting to see the differences between him and his brother, Ryan. Max is more cautious, almost extremely so, in giving his affections to just any woman. He is attracted to the women Ryan is, and he accepts to do things because Ryan wants them to happen, but Max never really said what he wants. He just went with whatever Ryan decided, because at the end of the day, Max is afraid of losing his brother. So when their latest relationship doesn't work out the way they hope it will, Max thinks it's his fault. So he is willing to step back in order to allow his brother to find his happy ending. It's truly a beautiful story, and I loved Max a lot.
Ryan, however, is someone willing to believe every woman that agrees to a threesome is "the one". He manages to fool himself about being in love with someone, so it's hard for him to realize that maybe Max might be the right man to find the woman of their dreams. Ryan, in his own way, does his own growing up in this book. He learns that he doesn't need to protect his brother from being himself, while Ryan takes all of the "grown-up" decisions. It's interesting to see their dynamic and to see how they eventually switch roles, in a way.
I truly liked this story. I liked the pace, and I am very, very excited about the rest of the books in this series. As always, Blake manages to make me fall in love with her characters, and no matter what people she's writing about, no matter the genre, I keep wanting more and more stories.
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Rye ran a frustrated hand through his wet hair. It was so much longer wet. “I couldn’t breathe enough to talk. I’m sorry. I should have locked the door. I should have skipped the damn shower. Hell, I should have spent the night somewhere else. I knew something like this would happen.”
She calmed down as she noticed Rye looked a little tormented. When she thought about it, it kind of was inevitable. Maybe not the stroking him part, but certainly the seeing him less than clothed. “Rye, we didn’t do anything we shouldn’t have. It was a mistake. I’m sure this isn’t the first time a woman got twin brothers confused and ended up seeing more than she should. It’s your house. I’m the one who should be more careful.”
Rye turned away from her. He placed both hands on the dresser. His head fell forward as though he was very tired. “We’ve shared a room all of our lives until a year ago. Even after our parents were gone and we could have, probably should have, taken our own rooms, we didn’t. We moved in here and, when we had the money, renovated to suit our needs. We built this room and that bathroom for the future. I don’t know, Rachel. I just always expected him to be there.”
“I am not trying to take your brother away from you,” Rachel said quietly. Was all this drama worth it when she knew she wasn’t going to be able to stay? Her heart hurt at the thought, but sooner or later, she would have to move on. Until Tommy was caught, she was in danger and so was everyone around her.
Rye sighed. “Oh, Rachel, I’m not jealous of you.” He turned to her, and the intensity in his blue eyes made her heart speed up. “I’m gut-churningly jealous of Max. All of our lives, I’ve been the one to find our women. He’s a charmless bastard who went along for the ride. I’m the one who wanted to get married. I’m the one who wanted to have kids. He just wanted to fuck. Now, he’s the one who finds you? How the hell is that fair?”
She stood there, watching him at war with himself. She wanted to wrap her arms around him and soothe him, but she didn’t have the right. From everything she knew, Max had decided to go straight. He wanted a normal one-on-one relationship. He would probably be upset if he knew how attracted she was to Rye.
Rye shook his head. “I’m leaving tonight. I’ll pack a couple of things and stay at Stefan’s until I can find an apartment.”
“Don’t.” She was horrified at the thought. “I’ll leave. This is your home. I never meant to cause this much trouble.”
Rye smiled slightly, but it was a sad thing. “I can’t watch you and Max. I’ll get to the point where I can be friendly, and we can pretend to be some sort of normal family, but I’ll never stop wanting you. I can’t live in the same house and watch you settle in with my brother. Do you understand the relationship I want?”
“You want to share me with Max.” The statement came out in a low, breathy voice. She had meant to sound matter-of-fact, not sultry.
“I want you between us, Rachel. I want you to be our wife and our lover and the mother of our children. I want you to sleep in between us. I want you screaming your pleasure when we take you at the same time. Do you understand?”
“Yes, I understand.” Her mouth was dry as she thought about it. She could have both of them. Two gorgeous men, loving her, wanting her. It was the fantasy of a lifetime.
“Max doesn’t want that anymore. I have to choose between pursuing the woman I think I was meant to be with or honoring the brother I’ve shared a life with from the moment we were conceived. Know this, Rach, if he weren’t already madly in love with you, if you hadn’t already chosen him, I would be all over you. That’s why I have to leave.”