Review - "Conner's Courage" by SJD Peterson
Slow Dancing In A Burning Room
*This is the fourth in the Whispering Pines Series, and while it stands alone, it is really best to read the books in order. Conner and John are in them all, and to know them is to love them..."
For thirty-seven years, Conner Burnett has loved John Price. Now, he's facing the fight all of these years of love have prepared him for. John has inoperable cancer, and Conner won't accept the only sure outcome.
Conner first showed up at the Whispering Pine Ranch on the run from yet another flirtation gone bad, and another job crashing and burning. But Cole Taylor, the ranch's owner, sees something in the cocky and brash young man, and decides to take a chance on him and hires him as the cook while his wife Cindy is out of town.
The slightly build, young looking Conner immediately draws the attention of John Price, the big bear of a ranch foreman, and his admonishment for him to tone down his dancing around around the kitchen rubs Conner the wrong way. Especially since the sparks the two men have? Could light a fire.
So begins a slow, smoldering dance towards romance and love for the two men, a dance that is threatened by John's fears, Conner's anger, and the very real attitude of the times - the 1970's - towards gays.
What follows is simply...stunning.
SJD Peterson takes us by the hand and leads us to the dance floor with this hauntingly small, intimate story of love and romance and hope. The steps are ones we all know - strong but vulnerable men, broken lives and hearts, and two men starving for love and afraid to reach out and take a place at the table.
But oh...then she pulls us close in and wraps her arms around our necks and sings the words to their love song in our ears. A quiet and gentle hymn about Conner's need to be himself, and John's surrender to the power of love. About learning to drop walls and defenses, and trust in the goodness of another person.
And the best thing? Ms. Peterson lets us dance with her 'til the song closes with a sweet, sweet ending.
This book is amazing. Beautifully written, believably paced and just so honest and true.
I loved it. This series just keeps getting better and better. Now, give me Jess's story.