Jack Carmichael’s natural instinct is to take care of people. In his job as a U.S. Marshal, he has done that for 25 years. Unfortunately, being married to his job has left his love life in tatters. Now classified unfit for duty, he retires and comes home to Colorado to figure things out. Dominant and used to taking control like his brother Brent, he has never been interested in spanking. Until a cute Nurse Practitioner catches his attention.
Josh Martin feels lucky. He’s not only accepted into Corbin’s Bend, but he’ll be working at the brand new Corbin’s Bend Medical Clinic as its only Nurse Practitioner. At thirty-two, he figures this is his last-ditch attempt at finding a dominant partner who isn’t abusive. He finds more than his share of dominant men in Corbin’s Bend, not the least of which are the Carmichael brothers. Brent’s dominance is both comforting and unnerving, Jack’s turns him on.
Josh is unlike any submissive male Jack has encountered and when the younger man asks him out, he decides to give it a go. One day of fun turns into two, three…until Jack, with more failed relationships than he can count in his past and unsure he can be the head of house Josh needs, leaves, burying himself once again in work. Forced to see the error of his decision, he puts aside the worries that have plagued him for months and returns to Corbin’s Bend. To become the good family man he wants to be, he has to earn back Josh’s trust and truly take on a role he’s never considered before: head of a loving discipline household.
I have been looking forward to Jack’s story since meeting him in Safe Under Protection. While Jack might not be the spanko his little brother Brent is, he had his own secret to reveal and boy was it a good one. Jack is bisexual. And it just so happens that one of the newly hired nurse practitioners might be just what the doctor ordered as Jack must come to terms with life after the U.S. Marshall’s Service. At a loss for how to start the next phase in his life, Jack goes to Corbin’s Bend to spend some time with his brother, sister-in-law, and niece and while there he meets Josh. Not knowing where he’s headed in life at the moment, Jack strikes up a friendship with Josh and as the men spend time together, Jack finds himself feeling more for Josh than he expected. The attraction between the men is intense and makes for some passionate moments throughout the book. But chemistry aside, can the non-spanko Carmichael be the man that Josh needs?
I liked that Durston decided to make Jack’s character bisexual rather than gay. Despite his string of failed relationships being with women, beginning with the mother of his child, it wasn’t because he was trying to be something he wasn’t (i.e., straight). Rather Jack’s biggest obstacle in the past was his job and he’s well aware that it led to the demise of more than one relationship over the years. And yet, Jack isn’t out to his family and this means that as Jack comes to terms with his feelings for Josh, he not only has to figure out whether or not he can be a Head of Household, he also has to figure out how to tell Brent and their parents without it coming between them. Can I just say that I LOVED how Brent took that news! And thank goodness for little brothers who aren’t afraid to tell their big bothers when they’re mucking up a good thing and Brent does exactly that when he finds out about the premature end of Jack and Josh’s relationship. After Brent’s Introduction to Being a Head of Household and Spanking 101, Jack sets out to get back his man and prove that he really can be A Good Family Man after all. I loved watching Jack and Josh reconnect and move forward in the DD relationship Josh always wanted and Jack never knew he wanted. And I really liked how the Corbin’s Bend family grew in this installment. As much as I loved A Good Family Man I am sad that its release marks the end of this season of Corbin’s Bend, but oh what a way to go out!