Title : Jasper’s Mountain
Author : John Inman
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Mystery, Suspense
Length : 204 pages (e-book)
Published : August 16, 2013
Rating : ★★★1/2
When small-time thief Timmy Harwell recklessly “borrows” a Cadillac for a joyride, he doesn’t expect to find a cool $100,000 in the trunk. His elation turns to terror when he realizes the SUV and the dough belong to Miguel Garcia, aka El Poco, a Tijuana drug dealer with a nasty reputation. Timmy sees only one way out: leave the stolen car behind and run as fast as he can.
His getaway is cut short when a storm strands him outside Jasper Stone’s secluded mountain cabin. Jasper finds Timmy in his shed, unconscious and burning up with fever, and takes care of the younger man, nursing him back to health. The two begin to grow close, but Jasper, a writer who seeks only solitude, is everything Timmy isn’t. Straightforward, honest, and kind.
Timmy needs Jasper’s help—and wants his respect—so he hides his dishonest habits. But when El Poco comes after him, Timmy realizes he’s not the only one at risk. His actions have also put Jasper in harm’s way. Honesty now could mean Timmy loses the man he’s come to love, but not being honest could mean far worse.
Jasper Stone found himself living on 90 acres in the mountains outside of San Diego, not by choice, but rather by fortune. Well, not so much fortune, but it’s all he inherited from his father, after the man had given all his money away to charity. It is also something that Jasper somehow kept hidden from his witchy ex-wife, so it belonged solely to him after their divorce. As a writer, the seclusion suits him fine. He makes the drive to the city for supplies and for occasional bar excursions and hook-ups – with men. Oh yeah, realizing he was gay kind of led to said divorce. At age 32, the hook ups have been fast losing their appeal, and Jasper finds himself longing for a deeper, personal connection with someone.
There is a fairly lengthy narrative at the beginning of the book which sets up Jasper’s back story, describes his mountain home, his menagerie of pets and wildlife, and his life in general. The ambience of his home and life on the mountain, shared with his dogs cats and local wildlife, is vivid and it made me want to go there. The gorgeous cover art nails it.
One night when Jasper returns home in the wee hours, he finds the door to his cabin is wide open, and a light is on. The dogs are calm, nothing seems disturbed or missing. He chalks it up to a big “WTH, I must have been in a real rush to leave earlier”, and goes on with his days. His newest endeavor, building a shed for two newly acquired young pigs, is what eventually leads him to the discovery that he did indeed have an intruder – Timmy. The reader meets Timmy before Jasper does, and gets a narrative of his back story as well – only with less crucial details of current events. Seems he has stolen a car that turned out to belong to someone he did not want to tangle with. He ditched the car, and found himself on foot in Jasper’s woods – and becoming quite ill on top of it all. When Jasper finds Timmy, he is wet, feverish and nearly unconscious.
Jasper takes Timmy in and nurses him back to health. By doing so, he gets a whole lot more than he bargained for. He has an instant physical attraction to Timmy, and as soon as Timmy is lucid enough to realize how long Jasper is lingering over the sponge baths, he’s on board with mutual lust. Jasper wars with himself over his growing (literally) attraction. He knows nothing about Timmy, other than he’s young (20 according to the license in his wallet), he’s probably in some kind of trouble, and he’s obviously lying. Probably not somebody Jasper should be getting involved with in any capacity. This doesn’t stop the pair from acting on their shared attraction. As soon as Timmy is feeling up to it (ahem), the two are getting it on big time. The sex is hot and heavy.
The book as a whole, while certainly not a comedy, is written with good doses of humor. Sadly, the blunt depictions the author utilizes during the sex scenes took me out of them rather than drawing me in. Personally, while I can certainly relate to appreciating the human form, instant physical attraction, and bowing to lust, it became redundant to me to read about Jasper’s aching cock. While Timmy was recovering there was mention after mention of Jasper fighting his desire, or adjusting his pants. I kept thinking, OK, I get it – he wants sex with Timmy, badly! On with the story please.
Once Timmy is well, he still does not share his truth with Jasper, which has Jasper somewhat disappointed and drained. Despite this, both men realize that their fervor has evolved into deeper feelings for one another. Again, the sex scenes left me not quite feeling this emotional connection. Timmy wants Jasper to trust him, but with all of the unknowns, Jasper finds this difficult. One day, Timmy’s past catches up with him when some shady characters turn up on the mountain. I won’t give away what happens next, as the details of what brought Timmy to Jasper’s property are revealed. The story culminates in an exciting, surprising, (and somewhat violent way), where Jasper, and the reader, get all the answers they have been waiting for, and then some! Jasper accepted all of the revelations and events a bit too quickly for me, but they do lead to his HEA with Timmy.
As I was reading, I found myself wanting more details coming from dialogue. I wanted more information exchanged between the characters themselves in regard to how they felt. I wanted to know what kind of books Jasper wrote, what he was writing currently and to have Timmy be interested in this as well. Through the majority of the book Jasper knew without question that Timmy was lying and hiding a lot of information and yet he never truly pressed him on it. The shift from lust to love felt kind of fuzzy to me, as the two didn’t really know much about each other. Apparently proving, romantically so, that the heart really does rule the mind!
I was surprised that the blurb gives away a detail that remains a big question mark until late in the story…
Recommended for fans of instant attraction, hurt/care theme, opposites attract and saving the big reveals for the end of the story. 😉
Rated 3.5 stars by Dianne