Length: 55,000 approx
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Trapped in darkness, can an escort find a man to help him into the light?
Gabriel Reyes never gave in. He fought and was hurt, was abused but escaped with his life. He made his way in the world using the one thing he was good at: sex. He earned a place with a man who controls everything but Gabriel is safe; he’s made it.
Cameron Stafford hires Gabriel for a night, needing nothing more than a pretend boyfriend to get his dysfunctional family off his back. With the money he has in the bank and his own hotel, why won't they just leave him alone? It doesn’t matter that a degenerative disease has stolen his vision, or that his last boyfriend was a bastard who tried to steal from him; for now he has purpose.
When Gabriel and Cam fall for each other, can they find real happiness and, maybe, a forever that will save them both?
A new story set in the world of Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes and the Double D Ranch, Texas.
Please be aware: emotional and physical abuse are depicted on the page in this book.
*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Signal Boost Promotions for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*
RJ Scott's Gabriel is Book 2 of the Legacy Ranch series, a spin-off from her Texas series. The Legacy Ranch series is not an easy series to read. It has a lot of abuse and healing is more the focus than love and HEA. And this book had a lot of abuse, a lot of sexual, emotional and physical abuse and was hard to read at times. I loved the Texas series and was heartbroken by these abused men that became a part of that story. I struggled with the first book in this series, Kyle, because of the abuse in the book, and this one was just as difficult. Gabriel could probably be read as a standalone without any issues. Very little of this story took place on Legacy Ranch, and there wasn't a lot of interaction with characters from the previous books so I don't think just jumping in with this story will be a problem. But, I think the Texas series is so fantastic you should start at the beginning and read it, then you'll have the horrific backgrounds leading into the Legacy Ranch series.
After the death of his mother as a young boy, Gabriel suffered horrific abuse at the hands of the men that ran the ranch he was living on. When he finally made his escape, he traded one abusive situation for another. Except this one was with a master manipulator that convinced Gabriel that everything that happened was his fault and was necessary. Gabriel is very much an abuse victim. The man who "rescued" Gabriel from a life on the streets became Gabriel's pimp but was able to manipulate Gabriel into believing it was his choice and what he wanted. Gabriel meets Cameron when he's hired to be Cam's date for the night. Cameron is almost completely blind and runs a hotel his family owns. He's come to accept his blindness and is very successful at business. He's not successful when it comes to men or finding love. When he needs a date to an engagement party, he hires Gabriel. Before long, Cameron is hiring Gabriel to come watch movies with him, or to just hang out. Cameron falls for Gabriel, but Gabriel is not at a place to see that love, let alone accept it. When Gabriel needs help, he runs to Cameron who helps him get away from his situation.
Reading a story in the mindset of an abuse victim is difficult. It was really hard for me not to judge Gabriel for the decisions he made, especially when he was so accepting of the abuse he received, made excuses for it and refused to leave the situation even when provided assistance. But, that's what makes the abusers so successful, they have full control over their victims and can control their thoughts and actions even when they're not around. But, again, that's what makes this story so hard to read. I enjoyed Cameron, but didn't really feel like I got to know him as well as I did Gabriel.
As with the first book Kyle, this is not a romance/love story. This story is about a man finding a path to healing and having to learn how to not be a victim going forward. I did enjoy getting a little glimpse of Kyle and Jason's life in this story and seeing that they're building a life together. Very little of this story actually took place on Legacy Ranch, and I would have loved to have less abuse and more healing. I think it's very important to be aware of the trigger warnings in this story. This story does not just gloss over the abuse, but has very in detail, on page sexual, physical and emotional abuse. If this is something you cannot handle, you should steer clear of the story.
Rating: 4 stars
August 7 - Making It Happen
August 17 - Padme's Library, Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books, Books Lovers 4Ever, Wicked Reads, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.
The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.