This is a mystery/thriller novel that has not really mystery; I use to know AKM Miles for her highly emotional story, and that side of her work is still here, so as is the idyllic gay paradise some characters managed to create even if the outside world is bad and against them. AKM Miles has often the theme of the experienced gay man who wants to help other young gay men as someone else helped him in the past.
In this novel it’s the time of Micah; his personal story has just that tad of drama to make him sympathetic for the reader, but actually it’s not really a tragedy: when he was 16 years old he was kicked out of home by his abusive father and brother, and his mother didn’t interfere; this could have been Micah’s tragedy, but it was actually his lucky day. Micah was “adopted” by Ted and Lizbet, a couple without sons and owners of a big ranch, the Stone Canyon. The place became almost a youth shelter for trouble kids, even more when Ted suddenly passed away and Lizbet decided to live in the city. Now Lizbet is dead and Micah discovers it’s not accidentally.
The one to help him solving the non-mystery (since actually all the clues were in a letter Lizbet wrote to Micah) is city private investigator Able. Now in your traditional romance, cowboys and PIs are not a usual pair because they are two alpha male characters, and you cannot put two bulls in the same pen. But as soon as the reader meets Able, it’s clear that he is not your traditional former cop-turned PI; actually Able is a gentle soul, probably even too gentle for his chosen career. He is also the classic gay character (even if not flamboyant): beautiful loft with artistic prints on the walls, a dog that is more a son than a pet, a supporting family that is more than happy for him to have finally found a good man (actually this is probably not your usual characteristic for a gay character, but it gives you an idea of the type of man Able is).
So there is actually no question on who will be the alpha man of this couple, and Micah immediately takes the role of the protector, that is a strange thing considering Able’s role in the story; in any case from when they meet to practically all the novel until the end, Micah and Able are joint to the hip, always together, sharing more romance than adventure. The resulting sex scenes are quite hot, there is no shy virgin between the two of them and even if there is no actually declaration of eternal love or forever commitment, it’s almost assumed that they are now a couple.
The tender and first love feeling is demanded to Momm, one of the young man Micah is helping on the ranch; he has some self-issues to resolve but he will be helped by a patient and caring lover. I sometime got distracted from Micah and Able by the evolution of Momm’s story, and I think that it happened also to the author, I clearly remember a scene that was an apex for Micah and Able’s relationship, but the author shifted the focus on Momm, that was in the same house, only some rooms far from the two.
In the end I think this novel is more aimed to a full romance reader, someone who appreciated good feelings and homemade pie ;-)http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=STCANYONBuy Here
Amazon: Stone Canyon
Amazon Kindle: Stone Canyon
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (June 23, 2010)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle