Outback Boys #2
Publisher: Rainbow Tree Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Series
Standoffish Aiden is content keeping people at a distance and ensuring his boundaries are impenetrable. There’s safety in not opening up, but there’s also a loneliness he doesn’t realise exists until he meets Riley, a new member of the LGBTQIA+ adventure group Outback Boys.
Fascinated by the new guy, Aiden is quick to discover his flirtation skills are rusty and his sweet-talking is cringeworthy. But sweet and clumsy Riley doesn’t seem to mind so much.
Even though Riley doesn’t quite know how to handle Aiden’s intensity, he’s willing to step out of his comfort zone and see how their tentative friendship unravels.
Between a surf lesson that resembles a kangaroo on acid and paddle boarding that is trickier than walking a tightrope, Aiden and Riley discover love may be a possibility after all.
Happiness relies on honesty and openness, though. And with both men holding on tightly to past struggles, their future together is at risk. Can the two Aussies bounce back and heal themselves and each other, or are some wounds too raw to recover from?
Outback Boys is a sweet and sexy M/M romance series complete with bruised butts, rope burn, and overworked muscles… all in the pursuit of adventure, of course!
Trigger Warning: Contains themes (discussions) of mental illness and suicide.
I’m enjoying this series, and although Riley and Aiden’s romance was sweet, I liked the more serious tone of this story, and how the author didn’t shy away from what these guys had been through. I loved catching up with Mark and Trey from Book 1 too.
I loved Riley and Aiden’s story, from their little attraction, to friendship and more. Poor Riley’s been through a lot, and I think it says a lot for his strength of character that he’s come so far. Aiden’s past isn’t great either and I could understand why he reacted the way he did when he found out about Riley. I liked how Riley’s past wasn’t revealed all at once, so I kept guessing and trying to work out what had happened. I liked how Riley calls Aiden out, doesn’t just accept his apology, and that they work for their happy ending. I thought that theme of the story was sensitively written, and realistic.
The supporting cast is fabulous, and I thought this was very much a story about family and friends. I loved Aiden’s grandfather, and I felt for Pete and everything he was going through. I also liked Frank and how he’s supportive yet doesn’t hesitate to call Aiden out when he needs to be told to get his act together. I like the vibe of the Outback Boys group, and how supportive they are, and the friendships made.
The epilogue rounded out the story beautifully and made me sniffle. I’m looking forward to catching up with these guys again in future books in this series.
5 out of 5 stars.