5 stars - because yes, I loved it that much
Well, this came out of f-ing nowhere for me. I admit it, Renae Kaye is new to me, in a way. I'm not even sure I read one of her other stories, yet. I know, Shame On Me! I'm really sorry about that, believe me. Why? Because I loved this book! And the writing. It's so good. Consistent, prose without the purple stuff. It pulled me in, kept me there the whole time and left me deeply satidfied and with a smile on my face. And all of that without trying too hard.
Hank and Elliot are not the most likely couple out there. Hank, in the closet since forever, with a "complicated" family status, owns his "small" piece of land, loves shearing, his chosen profession, so much you can taste it. He's passionate about what he does and how good he does it, which I admire and love in a character. Elliot, the shy new doc in town, tries to stay in the closet and fails miserably when confronted with Hank's naked chest. He has no clue about the life of a shearing gun, or the simple life away from the city and his famliy in gereral. What makes him adorably unsure and causes some slight problems. But should also rule him out completely for Hank, who doesn't like to fish in his own pond, so to speak.
What I absolutely loved about this book was the way the romance developed. It was so utterly romantic, yet always believable and never too cheesy or chlichéd. Both parties had some growing and thinking to do in order to get the point where they wanted to be. And then they started to grow together - so beautiful and real. I loved to read this part!
Add the amazing side characters and I was done for. Not only did I like most of them, but they also felt very real, not one-dimensional. They weren't just means to an end, they played an actual part in the life of both MCs.
And this book was funny! It made me laugh, sometimes so unexpected even I was surprised by my own laugh. Crazy, but what can you do?
Not to forget the sensual & sexy parts. There wasn't too much sex, but it also wasn't just sex for the sake of having a sex scene thrown around. The physical actions changed along with the romantic development - felt absolutely real and right and made it that much more enjoyable. It was also pretty damn hot. I was so gone by that point - and I never returned.
All in all, I really couldn't ask for more in an M/M book. Definitely recommended to practically everybody.