I am reviewing
Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.
Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.
It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.
Wow, after reading Amy Lane's Bonfires, I am left wondering why I waited so long.
This story contains a whole lot of wonderful story arcs within it. At it's heart, it is a love story between two middle aged men, who are almost 50. That alone, had me excited.
Aaron's wife died ten years ago, leaving him to raise their three children alone. He always knew he was bisexual, he just never acted upon his feelings before.
Larx is a teacher, who forms a friendship with Aaron after Aaron keeps pushing them into situations together. They bond over sharing stories of their past.
The relationship is tender and beautiful, and we get some fantastic and memorable scenes as this is Aaron's first time with a guy. They are romantic and charming together, as Aaron finds the passion he's always lacked.
As their romance progresses, they face a lot of the usual problems affecting people of their age, and I find this part so darn realistic and refreshing. Their situations, comments and thoughts about growing old are wonderfully written.
Their story contains a lot of complications, including the debate over when is the right time to come out, the fear of sexual assault charges facing teachers, harassment and homophobia, in addition to murder, attempted murder and the search for a killer.
Overall, it is a remarkable story of two middle age men finding love again, after years of being alone. Their story is wonderful, but it is made so much better by the addition of their kids, who add so much love and humor to the story. I loved every scene with the kids and am so glad that the kids were included so often.
In addition to the kids adding humor, you will love Larx's snark and smart-ass remarks.
As a fan of Amy Lane, I was expecting to like Bonfires, but it ended up being so much more than I expected. If you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favor and check it out!