Without meaning to repeat the sentiment expressed by other reviewers, Nya Rawlyns’ use of insta-love frustrated me. This is mainly because Ash and Oak are two great characters, with volatile personalities and heart-breaking histories, which I feel could have been explored in more detail if they had been allowed to develop as individuals, rather than a couple. Within days of meeting is our third-person narrator observes that,
“ He was selfish enough to want Oak forever, under any circumstances. He also realized that he loved him enough to let him go, if that’s what it took.”
Because the couple are swept away by perhaps the most dangerous of Ash’s “3 Ls”; lust; there is a huge amount of emphasis on their sexual partnership, yet even this seems inadequately examined. There are hints that Oak in particular, has far from vanilla sexual cravings and though this is talked about by the couple, it is with humour rather than genuine suggestion. It is definitely something I would like to have seen Nya Rawlyns elaborate upon.
The author uses Ash and Oak as a platform to comment upon homophobia. Although we empathize with the two main characters and the prejudice they have faced from their respective families, Nya Rawlyns allows both men to grow from their experiences and reestablish themselves.
In contrast to Ash and Oak, we meet the compassionate and generous Amy, Ash’s sister. She is the catalyst for the two men meeting and despite her own misfortune she is willing to do anything for them both.
Ash and Oak is a satisfying beginning to the Crow Creek series. Though there are aspects of the story which I felt were sketchy, I think the book will be enjoyed by fans of M/M romance and I would like to continue Ash and Oak’s journey.
Ash MacBryde thinks he knows what he wants. When his sister offers him the chance to return to his roots and take over running the ranch, he jumps at the chance. Ranching has always been his first love but it doesn’t fill the long lonely nights.
Oak Richards’ career is skyrocketing, earning him national recognition in his sport of endurance racing. But after an unfortunate riding accident, when his mentor and lover decides Oak is no longer flavor of the month, he’s cast adrift.
Will a little luck, a healthy dose of fate, and a matchmaking sister conspire to bring together two damaged men living two thousand miles apart?
For the shy, reclusive Oak and the domineering, territorial Ash there’s more than distance separating them. When they finally meet, sparks fly; but it will take more than just a powerful attraction to bridge the gap between them.