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Monday, 25 May 2015

Let's Review - The Closer You Get by Carter Ashby

The Closer You Get by Carter Ashby

Published by Patchwork Press Cooperative, May 21st 2015

If there’s one thing Rye Holcomb hates, it’s small, tight-knit towns with high virtues and zero tolerance for outsiders. Fidelity is just such a town. And Rye is just such an outsider. So when he and his brother, Cash, take jobs in Fidelity, Rye decides not to get too comfortable. Which is why he is avoiding some rather confusing feelings for his new boss, Cora McKay.
Cora was born, raised, and baptized in Fidelity. She owns a thriving construction business, has a close circle of friends, and is the breadwinner for her mother and four sisters. The one thing she lacks is a sex life, something she’s never longed for until now. One conversation with Rye sparks her sexual awakening, and, in spite of his reputation as a man-whore, Cora can’t resist giving in to his advances.
As Rye enjoys initiating his virgin employer, and Cash experiences a relationship with a man for the first time in his life, they begin to think of Fidelity as home. But small towns have brought them trouble in the past, and it appears Fidelity holds trouble for their future. Can their newfound relationships be enough to overcome a past that relentlessly follows them? Can two men who have been burned by love learn to trust again?

Put simply, I loved this. I’m a sucker for a good romance, but this seemed to have that little added extra that kept me interested throughout. Carter Ashby has some incredible ways of creating characters that you love, hate, and root for, meaning you become completely absorbed in their lives and stories. I was particularly fond of Cora – her character development was amazing, and you really saw her grow throughout the course of the novel in a way that seemed like a natural progression.

I’ve never read a romance novel featuring a gay couple before, but this was refreshing. I imagined I might struggle to relate to Cash and Adam’s storyline, but I found that I was equally as interested in what happened to them as I was about Rye and Cora. Both romantic relationships were presented in a similar fashion at the beginning, developing in their own ways, but weren’t different because of the genders of the individuals involved. I can’t say I was overly thrilled with Adam and Cash reconciling at the end, but I can see why Ashby did this – it was nice to see both Holcomb brothers learn to forgive.

It was also nice to see the trials and tribulations of Cora and Adam’s friendship. Not many novels focus on a platonic relationship, focusing normally on the romance, but this was a nice change. Although Adam was probably my least favourite character from the novel, I appreciated the depth he brought to Cora’s character – it was brilliant to see her acknowledge that her friendship with Adam was flawed in places. Her personal strength shone through when she confronted her best friend, and this was just another aspect of Cora’s story that I loved.

Overall, this was a fabulous novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. I definitely think that I’ll have to keep my eye open for more Carter Ashby fiction in the future.

What are you reading at the moment?

Until next time…


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