"4 Angels!...A quick little love story that incorporates two canines in matchmaking. Cheyenne and Cedric play a pivotal role in getting these two strong and independent men together. Caleb is a warrior of a man who has been a loner most of his life. His aloneness is very well depicted by author, Deirdre O’Dare, as is the intensity of the attraction he feels for Nick. Nick, on the other hand, is startled by his feelings, and they come through in the writing. Poignant, emotional at times, and funny at others...A fun love story to brighten an afternoon."--Scarlet, Fallen Angel Reviews
"4 1/2 Hearts!...Deirdre O’Dare has written a fun, lighthearted story. I loved Nick and Caleb and enjoyed going along with them as they struggled to form a relationship, but Cheyenne and Cedric made this story. They were such well-written characters. I loved the two playful dogs. They were so realistic and seemed so alive, I can just see the antics the two of them pulled. I would recommend this one to anyone who loves a good fun romance, with a little man love."--Sandra, The Romance Studio
"...Deals with the dogs that belong to the two men...Cute...very enjoyable, and the characters likeable and funny...A lighthearted tale..."--Pam, My Book Cravings.com
...Nick found Caleb’s snowmobile did have room for two, but only if they didn’t mind snuggling pretty close. Sitting behind, his knees bracketed Caleb’s hips and his crotch was right against Caleb’s butt. The layers of clothing somehow did little to dispel his awareness of just how intimate their positions were.
The wind had begun to pick up again, which made their speed seem greater than it was. Caleb steered over the drifts and hollows with practiced skill. Although the cold was sharp, Nick found it exhilarating to skim along as they did. Since he only had to hang on, he could look around. The area was picturesque in a subdued way. The rolling hills, dusted with snow like white frosting on a strange cake, faded into the distance. Here and there a stark bush or the stalk of a yucca-like plant stood up, dark against the dominant white and pale grays of the landscape. The black and red coats of Caleb’s Angus and Hereford cattle made startling splashes of color in the snow.
Between the roar of the machine and the wail of the wind, there wasn’t much use trying to talk, but Nick could partially gauge Caleb’s shifting moods by the set of his shoulders and whether his movements were smooth or jerky. When they found one heifer down in the snow, near her obviously dead calf, Caleb shook his head, his strong face marked with poignant sorrow.
He really cares for his animals, like each one is a family member. Nick found that a stunning revelation. He hadn’t expected a rancher to feel that way, maybe worry over the lost value if an animal died, but not to be truly sorry.
After a moment, Caleb edged close enough to Nick to explain. There was not much he could do for either of the animals now. The heifer should be all right if the storm broke soon, but right now there was no way to get her back to the barn. Some losses were inevitable. Range cows had to be hardy to survive. If the storm didn’t clear by mid-afternoon he’d drag a wagon load of hay out to scatter. That way he’d be sure the cattle had some nutritious feed to keep them going.
Fortunately, there were no other cows down. The rest seemed to be finding some grass under the thinner patches of snow and would be all right for a day or two, unless the weather got much worse. They headed back to the house after about a two-hour tour of the ranch.
On the route back, Nick held on tight because Caleb drove faster, swooping up and down over some higher hills and deeper hollows with almost boyish exuberance. That was fun, taking Nick back to some of the more enjoyable parts of his youth. He’d thought the rancher staid and stuffy, practically grim, but this made him approachably human.
When they were back inside, he grinned at Caleb as they both struggled to get out of the stiff coveralls. “I’m sorry about the calf, but the rest was fun. I haven’t been snowmobiling in a long time. We used to when I was a teenager. Couple of my friends had machines, and we rode all over every winter while we were in high school. I know a lot of westerners don’t believe it, but New York is not all a big city. We have some pretty rugged and remote country. Good deer hunting and plenty of places to camp, fish, canoe or whatever you wanted to do.”
Caleb finished shedding his gear first. Although the suit Nick wore clearly fit a huskier man, it made a tight fit over his parka. He twisted and tugged, but made little progress. Caleb looked at him, one eyebrow arched and a twinkle in his eyes. “Need a little help?”
Nick nodded, biting back a curse. Caleb circled him, grasped the edges of the suit and peeled it down off Nick’s shoulders. Once free of the bulk of his parka, the suit slumped around his knees in a stiff brown pile. After Nick jerked down the zipper of his parka, Caleb pulled it off, just as he had the insulated suit, tossing it to one side over a chair. Then Caleb set a hand on each of Nick’s shoulders, just resting them there.
For a half dozen breaths, Nick stood stock still absorbing the warmth and weight of the other man’s hands, feeling a sparkling tide of awareness flash through him. There was no restraint in the touch. He could have shrugged free at any instant—but he didn’t.
Caleb’s grasp loosened. “Turn around,” he said, his voice hoarse and low.
Nick did. He felt as if he had divided into two, one that stood back and watched with puzzlement and the other that had never been more aware, more attuned to another person in his life. He looked up to meet Caleb’s fierce, dark gaze, boring into his with searching force. They were so close he could count every thick black lash framing those eyes, see the fine creases and weathering that revealed the rancher’s exposure to the harsh outdoors. The chiseled lips were mere inches from his. He suddenly wondered how they would taste, how they would feel...