Sunday, January 15, 2012
Shying Away by Kate Sherwood
Author: Kate Sherwood
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 240 pages
Blurb: Quinn Donahue will do anyone once, so when Aaron Miller spots Quinn making his moves in a Vancouver gay bar, Aaron thinks he's found just the guy to relieve him of his unwanted virginity. Quinn, however, has apparently decided to make an exception to his usual open-bed policy. He may be an unrepentant connoisseur of one-night stands, but he's not going to disappoint a sweet kid like Aaron by giving him a hot night and then leaving while the sheets are still warm.
After Quinn takes a job at Aaron's family horse farm, Aaron spots both the demons and the decency that drive Quinn's frequent brush-offs, and it makes Aaron want him even more. But Quinn is determined that Aaron won't go home with a man who doesn't deserve him, so he starts sending likely candidates Aaron's way. It takes a grim act of sacrifice for Aaron to realize exactly why Quinn's been so skittish, and he’ll have to keep a firm grip on the man of his dreams to keep Quinn from shying away.
I picked up this story because I reviewed the sequel New Tricks at BER and was curious about how the couple got together. Quinn is a party boy who one night picks up Aaron at the bar. However it soon becomes clear that Aaron is a virgin and Quinn's not getting involved in that, however Aaron is hooked and looking for him. No amount of rebuffing seems to put him off the pursuit. When the bartender mentions a job working at a farm, Quinn applies, only to find it's Aaron's family farm, where Aaron gives riding lessons. To his surprise he gets the job and it seems Aaron is not the only one who takes a liking to him, Aaron's brother and mother both take to subtly pushing them together and bring Quinn into the family fold despite his protests.
Quinn has issues, big issues. It turns out he had a twin brother who committed suicide and Quinn holds himself responsible, and was rather spiraling down into drugs and booze so his parents told him to leave and he did. And never went back. He still feels Aaron should find a nice boyfriend, not him, and Aaron tries but it doesn't really work. When Aaron's father starts digging he finds that Quinn's parents did file a missing persons report, and since Quinn finally reported the guy who beat and raped him, it opens the file bring his super rich family down on him just when he's decided to give him and Aaron a chance.
I have to say I was really annoyed with Aaron's father and then his mother for pushing things. Why does everyone thing if you don't have a perfect storybook relationship with family there is something that needs to be fixed? They didn't know anything about it but started sticking their nose in. Maybe it wasn't all that bad, but the point was he was 29 years old, not a 19 year old kid. Still, I appreciated Aaron's pursuit, and how he'd try different things, backing off, pushing, it was like a puzzle he just had to figure out. I also loved Aaron's big brother Danny who was perfectly comfortable with Aaron and Quinn being gay and just wanted them to be happy. It was nice to have a supportive sibling who didn't interfere but was there for advice.
So I'm glad I read this one. Quinn is pretty screwed up, but maybe Aaron can help him get his head on straight and the sequel was very cute and touching as well with a playful side.