When Luke McCullough’s athletic potential is diminished by a field injury, his pride pays the price. Returned to Center County a broken man, the long road to recovery seems dreary and overshadowed by opportunities lost, until he meets Tristan Hughes.
Tristan came to Center County to escape his past and start anew, but nothing prepared him for Luke. Intrigued, Tristan cautiously gets to know this powerful man, only to fall head over heels
for the vulnerable soul hiding behind all that intensity and drive.
Luke has never been interested in men, so when he can’t get Tristan out of his head he doubles his efforts to fight the inevitable. Stolen glances lead to heated encounters, followed by punishing regret, but Luke’s inability to face the truth of who he really is may cost him the only happiness he’s ever known.
Although this is book 5 in the McCullough Mountain series, Forsaking Truth can be read as a stand-alone without any confusion. That said, as someone who has read it as a stand-alone, I plan to add the previous books in the series to my reading list as the McCulloughs are a rather entertaining and delightful family and I would like to read each of the siblings’ story. In this installment in the series, we are treated to Luke’s story and his adjustment to major life changes.
Destined to be a professional athlete, Luke suffered an injury during his junior year in college that rendered his career path and dream an impossibility. As such, it is no surprise that Luke is a sullen and withdrawn man, even with those closest to him – his family. This is what makes his reaction when meeting Tristan so surprising to him. Luke doesn’t understand the effect that Tristan has on him until he and Tristan are working together on his house and Tristan kisses him. Luke has never been attracted to a man and Tristan’s kiss freaks him out, not because he
didn’t enjoy it, but rather that he did. Because of his painful history, Tristan is just as distraught over the kiss because Luke’s reaction leads Tristan to believe he misread the situation and made a terrible mistake because he enjoyed hanging out with Luke as friends. The tension that mounts as the two deal with their reactions to the kiss come to head and makes for one seriously
hot sex scene when Luke admits to himself and Tristan that he enjoyed the kiss and wants more. Unfortunately, Center County is not a liberal area, so the two are forced to keep their relationship a secret, which works for Luke as he is still struggling to accept that he isn’t straight; but Tristan has accepted himself for who he is and as time passes the secrets wear on him, especially when Luke feels he has to “play it straight” to keep their secret. I liked that the author addressed the trials and tribulations that Luke and Tristan endure as their relationship develops and progresses over six years. Ms. Michaels lets the reader enjoy the highs and endure the lows without getting bogged down in the monotony of day-to-day activities that I’ve experienced with some books.
Forsaking Truth is a well-crafted romance between two men, one who accepted his sexuality as a teenager and one who had never realized that he may have been destined to love a man. The fact that Luke accepted some parts of his attraction to Tristan easily, while other parts were problematic for him is what made their story feel so real. The fact that the sex scenes were scorching was an added bonus. I enjoyed reading Luke and Tristan’s story and it is a definite re-read for me. I look forward to reading more of the books in the McCullough Mountain series.