For eighteen years, Nathan Truman and Quinn Anders were best friends. One born of wealth and privilege, the other born to working people, Nathan and Quinn shared everything. Sports, music, first kiss, first love.
For sixteen years, Nathan has tried to forget Quinn. Tried to forget the stolen moments they’d shared as kids. He joined the Marines, married, not once but twice, went into law enforcement. He forgot.
For sixteen years, Quinn couldn’t stop remembering. He fell into addiction, found music, lost himself, and became a country music superstar. He never forgot.
Sixteen years after their one night together, tragedy conspires to reunite them.
The murder of Quinn’s father sets them on a collision course not only with their past but with a killer. Nathan and Quinn struggle to deal with their past while the present slowly crashes around them. Brought together by grief, their tentative new beginning may very well come to a sizzling end, leaving them both out in the cold forever.
Warning: May contain subject matter sensitive readers will find objectionable. Male/male sexual situations. Violence.
I read this book originally in December of 2014 but since I’m planning on reading and review Cold Shadow (Cold Country #2) I decided to reread and review this version first.
I am a big fan of Mercy Celeste. She writes really good stories. I always feel so much for her characters. When I read her books, I am transported into the story, the pain that many of them feel seeps into me and I am not just a reader anymore. I am the brothers who try to fight their love for each other. I am a football player who thought he lost his boyfriend in war overseas.
In this book, I was sucked into the world of Nathan and Quinn. The first is a sheriff’s deputy who once was afraid of he love he had for his best friend. The second is a country musician and recovering addict whose best friend left him after high school. Nathan has been married to women in the past and while his only true love has been Quinn, I think he is more than likely bisexual. Quinn has always known he was gay. Nate leaving wasn’t the sole reason for his downward spiral, it was the country music scene full of drugs where he has to closet himself in order to succeed.
When Quinn’s dad, the sheriff, is attacked in the line of duty, he has to go home and face his past. Nate has to deal with taking over as sheriff and seeing the only man he has ever loved. There is some reckoning for both of them, and they can’t stop the same feelings from flooding back. There is a lot of hurt in this book because of their past, and the loss of a loved one. There is also relief and happiness at accepting themselves and acceptance from Nate’s family.
The murder investigation takes more of a backseat in the story until it doesn’t. The same person who attacked Quinn’s father returns to try to split the two men up for good. I don’t want to give anything away about what happens, but there is violence and a vicious attack that will leave even the most upbeat person feel sad and may contain triggers for anyone who has suffered violence in the past. It will take more work for the two men to have their happy ending but I had faith in them. They had already been through so much.
I love Nate’s family in this story because of their unconditional love for each other. They are very wealthy and famous in their own right, but they never acted like they were better than anybody else. There is some regret in the story that Quinn would never get the chance to reconnect with his father after years of separation, and that his daughter wouldn’t get to meet her grandfather. I could feel that sadness because I would have loved for there to be a happy closure to their relationship. Detective Walker from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations plays a big part in this investigation and presents a possible love interest for Nate’s younger sister. But the blurb for book 2 is painting a whole new picture and I really can’t wait to read it and find out what happens.
Though this story might be hard for some to read, I would really recommend it. The author has a gift of letting the reader into the book and allowing them to feel what the characters do.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
I thought that Dana had a marvelous idea when she suggested Co-reviewing this book since we are also going to be Co-reviewing book 2 Cold Shadow (Cold Country #2). It makes perfect sense to review this one first.
I read this book shortly after it was published back in 2013. Mercy Celeste was the first MM author that I had read where I realized that characters could have depth and that sometimes bad things happen in a story and this story is a great example of that. I adored both Nathan and Quinn. They are both very different yet have a history together and are both tortured souls in their own way. I loved them for those differences and the sameness that they share.
Quinn and Nate both have demons. Quinn has addiction problems to overcome and Nate is busy pretending that he’s not gay and both struggle to find their way back to each other. That there is a murder to be solved and shared grief over the death of Quinn’s father is really just the tip of the iceberg of this story.
Without giving too much away, I will say that there is non-con sex that may be a trigger for some. There is also the very electric sexual chemistry between the MCs. These guys make me tingle when they’re together. Mercy Celeste is a master storyteller and can weave a tale with depth, intrigue, suspense and make you fall hard for her men. I had so many feels reading this one.
Be sure to keep your eyes open for our review of Cold Shadow (Cold Country #2), you won’t want to miss it.
Mercy Celeste is the pen name and superhero persona of mild-mannered MJ Colbert….which is bull, I’m not mild mannered. I was, in fact, raised in a barn–or several. We even had grain silos. My motto growing up, anything a boy can do, I’m right behind him doing it just as well or better. I’ve broken too many bones to begin to count. Scraped, skinned or scarred pretty much everything that can be scraped, skinned or scarred. How I’m still walking and talking is a miracle.
So about the writing, well, I don’t really consider myself to be a writer. I’m a storyteller, and when I have a story to tell, it won’t rest until it’s twisted me up and purged itself. The result is at times comical or tragic, depending on the people who live in my head and what they have to say. Most days that’s not a lot of anything. Others I can’t shut them up. They especially love when I’m driving, oh, yeah, a drive across town is a lesson in how not to get myself killed or be pulled over for reckless driving. And those are the good days.
Welcome to my crazy world, if it’s boring now, wait five minutes, and don’t blink. Things have a tendency to get interesting around me.
Mercy’s Website: http://www.mjcpress.com/