The village of Stamford, the quintessential chocolate box English scene, seemed an impossible dream for foster kid Toby Prentiss. Now he’s found a home among the haystacks and village fairs as the general manager for the Duck and Drake Hotel. With the fears and demons from his youth hidden away in this bucolic oasis, he’s very protective of who he lets in. Until he stumbles across shirtless carpenter Rain Engel building the hotel’s new custom-designed bar.Working in the countryside, Rain prepared to face his biggest fear: sheep. He didn’t expect to deal with his second biggest fear: commitment. Toby’s controlled, tough guy façade coupled with his “find happiness where you can” optimism calls to Rain like nothing before. While Rain may be an exhibitionist, his romantic history forces him to hold his emotions close. As their relationship develops, secrets from their pasts drive a wedge between them: the ex-boyfriend who tore apart Rain’s trust and Toby’s history with the law. But can the secrets hiding among the quirky villagers bring them together? With missing sheep, pole dancing at the winter festival, and a crippling drought, everyone is waiting for Rain.
There are so many things that I love about this book that I don’t know which part I loved the most: the romance, the hot sex, or the humor. Waiting for Rain was the perfect blend of these elements.
Rain and Toby are so great together that I could not help myself from falling in love with them. I laughed with them and at them – Rain in the case of the sheep thief stake out. My heart broke for Toby when he walked in on Rain and Tommy and then again when he got the call from social services. I was angered when they had to deal with the bigots and was beside myself during Toby’s altercation with Neil. My heart raced as I fanned myself each and every time they were intimate. And of course, I had the biggest smile on my face as Rain performed for the charity event at the end of the book. I was so invested in these characters that I felt with them and for them as they encountered each obstacle and experienced each moment of happiness and ecstasy. In short, Ms. Nicol made these characters come alive and that, for me, is the mark of an excellent book. My only complaint about Waiting for Rain is that it ended. I would love to spend more time with Toby and Rain.
Waiting for Rain is a wonderfully written book and I am looking forward to reading it again and again and again. It has most definitely been added to my re-read list and I will be checking out Ms. Nicol’s other books.