Review - "Twisted" by Jake Mactire
Worthy and exciting sequel to "Two Sides of the Same Coin"
Jeff Donnelly inherited the Lucky Jeff Ranch from his dad when he died in a car accident. Mike Guidry worked on the Lucky Jeff, and the two had an instant chemistry. After a series of adventures, detailed in "Two Sides of the Same Coin", Jeff and Mike became partners in all senses of the word and look to expand the ranch's business by adding a dude ranch.
As the boys look to start up the Dude Ranch expansion, their ranch hand Smitty asks if his younger brother Jason can come work with them. Gay and troubled, the young man wants to make a new start, and Smitty thinks Jeff and Mike may be good role models for him. And it gets him out of town and safe; there is a serial killer, the West Coast Cutter, who is preying on young guys like Jason. And when a young man he knows falls victim, there is even more reason for him to be on the ranch.
Then Mike's father Al shows up at their door. Apparently a changed man, he wants to make amends for throwing Mike out when he was 16. Jeff won't allow Mike to be hurt again, but maybe, just maybe, he is sincere. And Mike can reconnect with his mother, brother and sister too.
When Jeff and Mike find a body while out skiing, the West Coast Cutter is closer to home that anyone thinks. Things quiet down, and with the dude ranch is a huge success, and the boys try out the gay rodeo, maybe things will be okay.
But when Mike is attacked while skiing with Jeff, will the boys be in more danger than they can handle this time? Could the unthinkable be true - could Mike's dad be the killer and out to finish his son off this time?
This is a well written, exciting and satisfying sequel. Jake Mactire has brought back all of our favorite characters from "Two Sides of the Same Coin", and added some new ones to carry the story even further. We get to see Mike's family, and gain insight into his troubled background. And he gets to have some closure on his painful past. And we get to see the honest and real love these two cowboys have grow and become more real for Mike, especially.
Especially touching, for me, was the last part of the book, when Jeff recovers from his ordeal. It is Mike's turn to be the strong partner and take care of his lover. The light touch, real emotion and loving care that Mr. Mactire has for these two characters is so spot on, so real. And this is what separates these books from so many others in the genre. When, at the end of the book, you find you still actually care for the characters and want more, that is a job well done for any writer.
Once again Mr. Mactire has filled this book with detail, adding life and texture to everyday situations and making them important. Giving them weight. And love.
I liked this book a lot. I hope you will too.