The story opens with Al, the main character, caught in a highly precarious situation. He’s been abducted and left naked and bound in the middle of a Texas ranch. The scene could have turned ugly very quickly, but rest assured, this isn’t that kind of book. Despite his serious circumstances, Al’s sense of humor immediately put me at ease. His inner monologue throughout the story is highly entertaining. Al’s the kind of guy I’d love to have as a best friend. He’s a city boy who lives a fast-paced life as an androgynous fashion model in New York City, but he’s not pretentious in any way. He’s a genuinely nice guy. And so funny!
He meets Duke (who happens upon him in the field) early on in the story, and the chemistry between them is simply delightful. Al is smitten right away. He’s just been rescued by a rugged, handsome cowboy, after all! It’s unclear at first whether Duke is attracted to Al, or if he’s just a stand-up guy going out of his way to help a fella in need. No matter, I fell for him right away, too.
Not only did I love both of these characters, but I was immediately drawn into the mystery of the story. Who had done this to Al? And more importantly, why? Did Duke know more than he was letting on? Would his kidnapper strike again? I was left guessing until the end, when the motive of the assailant became clear. As much as I enjoyed the romance that develops between Duke and Al, I especially loved the mystery and suspense.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is the author’s colorful way with words. There were so many lines I highlighted throughout the story simply because the words were stitched together so beautifully:
“I’m wearing soft, old jeans and a greenish-blue T-shirt, neither of which fit—but they’re Dukes, and they smell like they were dried with nothing but sunshine.”
I also loved the range of emotions we experience through Al. He suffers several traumatic encounters, and we feel the fear, confusion, and anger that results. He also falls in love, and with that comes doubt, hope, love, and yes, heartache. The author does an excellent job of developing both main and secondary characters in a believable way.
The romance between Duke and Al is sweet and satisfying, and the sexy-times are steamy! Splinters is without a doubt my definition of a perfect romance. I’ve already read this story twice, and I could easily hunker down on the couch under a cozy blanket and go again. It’s that good!
Splinters by Thorny SterlingSplinters
by Thorny Sterling
Available at Amazon: e-book | paperback
Waking up in a strange place isn’t a first for model and actor Allan Seville, but discovering himself alone and bound to a rough plank in the middle of an open Texas range certainly is. With no memory of who did this to him or why, panic sets in, until rescue comes riding up on a big, brown horse.
There’s more to Duke Walters than a handsome face and sexy drawl. In the arms of this rugged cowboy, Al discovers a peace and safety he never knew he needed, and now doesn’t want to be without.
But someone wants Al out of the way and drugging him during a movie junket in Houston is only the beginning. A world of differences may separate this cowboy and diva, but when danger strikes again, Duke might be the only one who can get them out alive.