Doing it at: 65%
Catnip: Lumberjack; Opposites Attract; Cowboys; Reformed Bad Boy; Trouser Snake
Shame Scale: Medium shame, Tess Oliver’s books are addictive New Adult that you probably aren’t advertising to strangers and elderly relatives that you’re reading
Fantasy Cast: Henry Cavill; Taylor Swift
After nearly losing his friend in a logging accident, Gage Barringer is convinced now more than ever that he needs to find a different job. But his side business of breaking colts at the small Montana ranch he inherited from his grandfather doesn’t earn him enough money. He has his mind set on running The Raven’s Nest, a popular bar and restaurant near his ranch. The original owner has died and Gage is waiting for it to be put up for sale. But there is a five-foot-four, brown eyed, obstacle in his way, an obstacle with lips made for sin and a voice made for breaking hearts. And Summer Donovan is one road block Gage Barringer won’t be able to find a way around.
The hero in this one is LITERALLY a lumberjack and a cowboy. So, no way was I not reading Gage. Have you google image searched Hot + Lumberjack lately? If the answer is no, change that. I have read a bunch of Tess Oliver’s other books, she was one of the first new adult authors I discovered when I started to devour trash, and since her first novel I think her writing has really improved. If I had to compare her books I would say they’re comparable to Jamie McGuire’s or Abbi Glines, we aren’t sure WHAT makes them so addictive but the stories are eminently readable.
Summer lives in L.A. with her boyfriend who is also her band mate, and is on the verge of a really big recording contract. It’s something she’s been working towards since she was a teen. Everything is looking like sunshine and rainbows, until the sleazy record label guy propositions her and she finds out that her boyfriend has been giving it to her best friend for who knows how long. So, Summer does what any reasonable young lady whose life is in flux would do, she moves to Montana to take over her dead grandpa’s restaurant in a tiny logging town.
Gage, our lumberjack, cowboy, manwhore hero wanted to buy the restaurant so he could stop working on the logging crew since it’s dangerous, exhausting work. Now, Summer has thwarted his plans and he doesn’t intend to be impressed by her. But of course he is, because what the fuck kind of depressing book would this be if he wasn’t?
Our protagonists don’t spend too long pretending to hate each other, Gage is a gentleman and helps Summer out with her car when it runs out of gas, keeps local rough neck douches from molesting her, and generally makes her feel safer and more welcome in the little town. Plus he’s a mountain of a mountain man and his charm isn’t lost on Summer. I’d describe Gage as an Alpha, but like a gentle non-asshole Alpha. An Alpha who likes baby kittens. Oliver’s character building is getting better book by book and I found myself rooting hard for these two.
The bedroom rodeo picks up right at our not at all arbitrary 65% mark cut off, and much is made of how much heat Gage is packing:
He was massive everywhere. His erection glistened with the dew of sex.
She released a throaty groan as she impaled herself lower and lower over my erection. “god, when does it end,”
They *almost* have sex in the hay loft of his barn, but sadly he teases her about rats and carries her naked across the property to ravish her in the house instead. I mean, it was still hot, but hayloft sex would have been a marker on my imaginary smut book bingo card. Just because it’s not real doesn’t mean I don’t like yelling bingo.
The drama in Gage is light, and resolved pretty tidily. This book was a quick read that didn’t require much thinking (a Compliment, I swear) and put a smile on my face. If you haven’t read any of Oliver’s books, this might be a good one to start with, and we get his dare-devil, smart-mouth brother next book. Nothing not to like about that. Plus, I reiterate, hot lumberjacks.