Michael Brooks is a loner, and with good reason. A short fuse and a tendency to shoot from the hip, sometimes quite literally, mean he’s all the company he’s got most of the time, and he likes it that way just fine. It suits his job as Warden for Wyoming’s Fish and Game Department.
Being alone sounds good to the researcher for the USDA Forest Service, Dr. Seamus Rydell, especially since it means time away from the pressures to follow his family’s political traditions. He’ll need a guide to Timber Lake to set up his testing equipment, and who better than a Warden whose boss needs him out of sight for a while?
They’re just doing their jobs, until both men get derailed by a lust threatening to light up the night sky and by egos big enough to fill the wilderness.
When a psychopathic poacher intrudes, Michael’s past rises up and the present twists out of shape around a sick mind. As the future for both men fills with darkness, it is all too clear no one will come back from Timber Lake unscathed.
Nya Rawlyns’ Timber Lake shows us the clash of the lingering Old West and modern political agenda. Michael Brooks, a rough Wyoming warden, has a potty mouth and a sordid past. Underneath his hardened exterior is a great love for the land and animals in his care. But not for much else – at least not lately. City slicker Seamus “Sonny” Rydell is assigned to survey the land Michael holds dear.
Rawlyns’ writing style drew me in immediately. Her use of language is exquisite, painting the characters and setting in 3-D. Unfortunately, even with such a clear picture I had difficulty connecting with them. As soon as they laid eyes on each other, the air was thick with lust. But too quickly that lust turned to love for the men. Yet, neither would admit it. Instead they followed the tired push and pull story arc precipitated by lack of communication. Though the twist in the last third of the book did add an element of surprise.
I enjoyed Rawlyns’ writing style enough to read another of her books. But I didn’t engage with these characters enough to recommend Timber Lake. Other readers will have a different experience, I’m sure.