Avery Rivers is a country music sensation, selling records by the millions and playing to sold-out crowds. But behind that persona is Robert, a burned-out musician cracking under the pressure. He’s unable to write any new songs, and he wants out of the business—at least for a while. He changes his appearance and finds honest, hard work in Jackson, Wyoming. Maybe getting to be a regular guy for a while will get him past his block.
Hy Whitely was a championship bull rider until he watched his best friend thrown in the arena and decided the rodeo circuit was no longer the place for him. He wants to be plain old Zeke for a while, and when he returns to his family ranch, he bumps right into Robert—a one-night stand from his last rodeo appearance who is now working there as a ranch hand.
The heat between the men could sear the grass off the range, but each one is hiding a secret. Robert and Zeke, the men behind the public images, fall in love, but can they hold on when Avery and Hy are pulled back into the spotlight?
'Don't Let Go' had me holding on until the end and then...things went sideways on me and letting go just seemed like the best thing to do...
I really enjoyed most of this story it was hella' good...so let's talk about the good and we'll get to the sideways in a bit...
Avery Rivers is a star in the country music industry. He's hot and everyone wants a piece of him. The problem is he's only got so many pieces to give and he's running low. If he doesn't catch a break soon, he's pretty sure he's going to become so broken there won't be any putting him back together again. So Avery decides it's time to man up and take control of things and he does. His concert tours done and people are talking about adding dates but Avery knows what his deal is for and he say 'no' just a big fat no, takes care of business, buys himself a pick-up truck and says 'I'll see ya all in six months.' and hits the road. Along the way he meets Hy Whitely on for him he's just plain old Zeke because Hy Whitely's a top performer on the pro rodeo circuit and if anyone knows how Avery's feeling it's Hy Whitely.
Zeke and Avery hook up for a night of good times and then they go their separate ways only to have their paths cross again when Avery's dad unknowingly gives the country star a job working on his ranch...the same ranch that Zeke's heading to for a much needed break.
Turns out that for both Avery and Zeke the ranch is just the break that they both need. Things start out good for the two as they work the ranch and get to know each other spending their days out on the range fixing fences, caring for the cattle and horses and their nights wrapped up in each other and sharing a passion that seems incendiary and feels even hotter. As the days pass each man comes to realize that sure the sex it great but they just really, genuinely like and care for the other.
So basically this as the gist of everything that I really liked about this book Zeke, Avery and their relationship as well there's a side story going on between Zeke and his father that's good and adds to the overall story and I enjoyed seeing Zeke and his dad work through their issues as the real world creeps back into the comfortable bubble that they've all been surrounding themselves with.
When word gets out as to where country music's hottest ticket Avery Rivers has slipped away to...well sh*t gets real and Avery and Zeke have to face not only their feelings but what the demands of real life will mean to their fledgling relationship and decisions need to be made if they're going to find a way through this.
If you plan on reading this book than you may want to stop here because this next part is a bit spoilerish but I'm going to try and keep it as vague as possible so the decisions up to you if you want to finish reading this review...
Ok, so far I have to say I was loving this one...it was coming in at a very solid 4 stars and then we got the the ending and I do mean the ending as in 'the epilogue'...it was too much. Here I've been reading this lovely story about two men with successful lives falling in love and struggling to keep their relationship solid and discreet even though they not hiding in the closet, neither are they out, proud and marching in any pride parades and yet when we get to the end we get an over oh so freakin' over the top public declaration. Now I realize that for some this is cool and they really love this kind of thing and to that I say 'cool' but for me it was just a big "No...no, no, no."
Things just made no sense since they've been keeping things on the down low and then suddenly this? and no I'm not saying what this was. If you've read the book you'll know and if not well I really don't want to spoil things too much. So in the end my 4 stars went down to 3.5 stars and while I liked most of the story the ending turned out to be a big wet blanket for me.
Jeff Gelder was the narrator for this story and while it's not my first time at the dance with this narrator and for the most part he did a solid job with the narration and certainly I had no problem in terms of understanding and when it came to the character voices things were good. However, when it came to the narration portion at times I found his voice to be a bit stilted and lacking the smooth tone that he had when voicing the characters. It wasn't an overwhelming issue and while it didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the story it was a bit of a minor niggle that was enough to catch my attention.
'Don't Let Go' for the most part was a 4 star listen for me with the ending being such a subjective issue. Unfortunately for me it was a detracting factor from my overall enjoyment of things but for others it could be the reason to add stars not take away...it's all about the personal preferences.
*************************An audio book of 'Don't Let Go' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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