Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell (3 Stars)

Love comes to the rescue to save a broken soul.

Joshua Chastain is finally done with his FBI undercover assignment that almost killed him. After spending months in detox to get off heroin, he needs a place to recover. His Uncle Tucker owns a ranch and offers to let him work and live there. Eli Kelly has been the foreman for Tucker’s ranch for years and spends his time rehabilitating abused animals. Eli will now have to try to see if he can help out Joshua.

Joshua didn’t have an easy time while he was undercover, especially when he was forced to kill other criminals and watch innocent people die. He has a long road of recovery ahead, both physically and emotionally, and living on the ranch really seems to help him. Although we are repeatedly told how strong and smart he was before the assignment, the person we see through most of the story doesn’t come close to resembling that man. He’s now just a shadow of himself, and you could feel the pain he was suffering.

Eli is presented as the most patient man in the world who everybody looks up to. Unfortunately, he seemed to lack patience with poor Joshua. The first time these two get together, which is almost halfway through the book, was actually painful to read. They also argued quite a bit which was mostly due to misunderstandings. I’m not really sure that they are going to get their final happy ending, since they still hadn’t learned how to communicate by the end. I would have really liked to have seen a lot more development of the relationship and deeper discussions between Joshua and Eli. They did spend a lot of time together working on the ranch, and there were some really sweet and sexy moments.

We also get Tucker’s point of view throughout the story which was a bit of a distraction. He was a confusing person to listen to, on top of making a lot of insensitive comments. If you like horses and ranches, there are a lot of details here on those aspects. A good portion of the story is spent showing us this kind of life. There was also quite a bit of time devoted to Joshua’s dealings while working undercover with the drug lord.

If you enjoy romances with broken characters healed by love and vivid descriptions of life on a ranch, than I think you’ll enjoy this interesting tale.

Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

BLURB

Three years undercover with one of the worst gangs in the country left FBI agent Joshua Chastain shattered. Battling nightmares and addiction, he leaves the concrete jungle for New Mexico horse country, hoping to start over on his uncle’s ranch.

Foreman Eli Kelly spends his life rehabilitating abused animals, and Joshua is just another lost soul. But as Joshua slowly begins to put his life back together, Eli realizes that Joshua is a lot more than his newest project.

Joshua’s plan seems to work—maybe a fresh start was just what he needed. Then, just when he has finally found a sense of peace, crime and hatred nearly destroy all his hard work, forcing him to reevaluate what he wants out his relationship with Eli and his own life.

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