To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.
Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.
When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.
Lord of a Thousand Steps by Tara Lain is a great contemporary May/December romance. Intern Ian Carney thought he found love with his boyfriend Rico, but Rico’s suspicious behavior – and ultimate betrayal – leads Ian into the arms of his boss, Braden Lord.
Lain is quickly becoming one of my go-to authors. Her plots are always engaging and her characters memorable. Lord of a Thousand Steps follows that pattern. Ian was caring, but strong, with just the right amount of idealism to see the possibilities beyond his initial heartache. I adored the way Ian interacted with Braden’s children. He rejoiced in the opportunity to be part of their family as much as Braden’s. For all his over-caution, Braden is genuinely trying to do the right thing – and even when he gets it wrong, his actions are always for what he believes will produce the best outcome. My only complaint about this book is that Braden’s ex-wife reads as very one-dimensional, but some real-life people don’t have much depth either, so I don’t mind books showcasing that reality sometimes.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a family-focused love story with some angst for good measure.