Reviewed by Helyce
Let us first take a moment to drool over this fantastic cover! This is truly cowboy perfection.
I began my stalking campaign for an ARC of this book almost as soon as I heard that book 6 of the Six Pack Ranch series was to be Travis’ book. You see, this author, over the course of the previous 5 books has hinted at things only to suddenly throw in a wrench and change what I thought I knew about Travis. She has kept us readers on a short leash and we hungered for any little tidbit that she would deign to give us where Travis was concerned. From book one, I speculated on what was Travis’ kink until every time I thought I had him figured out, I’d learn something new that would only confound me again. In Rocky Mountain Freedom, we get Travis, all of him, and it was a delicious ride.
What I had not expected, and I say this in all honesty, was a menage. I am not a fan of menage in my romance reading. Very few stories have convinced me that the relationship between two men and one woman could work, and stand the test of time; not to mention being accepted by others including family members who are supposed to love you unconditionally. Though I like to say, “I don’t care what others think”, it’s easier said than done. So, when the cover and blurb for this book was released I had my reservations. I was already in love with Travis. I knew he had issues, but not exactly what they were and I speculated with each book to try and understand why he was so tortured within when from the outside he appeared to others so very confident and sexy.
Trust. I should have had more trust that Ms. Arend would not let us down.
Travis, Ashley and Cassidy are tossed together when Travis’ cousin Karen gets hurt and is unable to run her new business venture where city folk can experience the ranch life in a controlled environment. She asks Travis to run it and Ashley, an artist and “friend” of Travis, tags along to work on her art projects and work on snagging Travis. When they arrive, Travis is surprised to find Cassidy is there. Cassidy and Travis have some unfinished business that gets tempers flaring from the get go. What is also immediately apparent to the reader is the attraction between everyone. Ashley, is most obvious in her very blatant inspection of Cassidy as a possible art subject:
She hummed happily and held out a hand. “Well, well. You feel the urge to round anything up, give me a shout. I’d love to see you in action with a rope.”
Cassidy jerked to a stop, her fingers already in his, not quite sure how to respond to that comment as he accepted her firm handshake.
Travis rolled his eyes. “You want him to strip so you can look him over a little closer?” Instead of blushing or getting embarrassed, Ashley’s eyes lit brighter. “You’re a genius Travis.”
While Ashley and Travis arrive at the camp as a “couple” the issues that broke them up previously have not been dealt with and when one of Travis’s kinks shows itself, Ashley finds herself is a precarious position and leans on Cassidy to help. What follows is one of the most intensely erotic scenes in a form of sexual pleasure I don’t think I will ever understand. But I would be lying through my teeth if I didn’t admit that it was singe-your-panties-off HOT! It also becomes the catalyst to this threesome forming an intimate bond that cements them together. It will force all three of them to share their vulnerabilities as well as their strengths and that bond will only get stronger as they fully explore what they could be together.
This road, however, is not without obstacles. Ashley is a free spirit who was brought up in a very open style commune-like family. She is open to anything though she does struggle with one of Travis’ ‘needs’. Travis as well has been open to exploring his sexual needs with both men and women. Cassidy, though, has not. While he had at one time tried to be open about his feelings, it was not received well and he lost people he loved because of it, so he’s tried to close off that side of himself. While he cannot deny how he feels about both Travis and Ashley he does fight them until he realizes that he can make the choice for himself and not worry about judgment.
What truly sold me on this relationship being able to work was the fact that the men were very attracted to each other. The author does an excellent job of showing us that by allowing intimate scenes between just Travis and Cassidy as well as Cassidy and Ashley without Travis. I liked this a lot; that each person could build ties to each other individually. Additionally, we are given Travis’s family who welcome their relationship with total acceptance.
In Rocky Mountain Freedom, we not only get the answers to our questions, but we are given a beautiful story filled with the ups and downs of a romance between two men and a woman who each have something to overcome and are able to do so with the love that builds between the three of them. I’m totally satisfied with the path the author chose for Travis after leading us on for 5 books. While it can be read alone, you would miss the exquisite build up that the author gives us throughout the series, so I recommend reading from book 1; you will not be disappointed as each books has something unique about its couples.
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