Lorcan’s Desire by SJD Peterson is not your typical romance story – it’s not even your typical m/m romance story – in fact, there were moments when I wondered if it even was a romance story. This is not to say I disliked the book though it did strike me as sad. It reminded me that life doesn't always give us what we want but we deal with it anyway and move on. I’m just not sure I want to be reminded of this fact when I read romance.
This highly emotional book opens with Lorcan walking down a stretch of open country road, who despite the support of his family wants to strike out on his own. Readers are drawn to him at once as he is presented as a truly sympathetic character. He’s twenty-one and looking for an adventure. Yet when he gets it, he doesn’t seem to really want it. He finds himself at the Whispering Pines Ranch, desperate for work and lucky enough to be taken in by Quinn, the ranch’s gorgeous owner who awakens a side of Lorcan he wasn’t aware of.
From the moment Quinn lays eyes on Lorcan, he knows he needs to know him more and immediately takes him on as a ranch hand. Quinn is in the midst of dealing with a homophobic neighbor out to destroy his ranch. He is angry and stressed about the troubles at his ranch but aside from these obvious traits, his character is not as well developed as Lorcan and I found myself not liking him. This is especially true when their relationship begins to develop but Quinn wants to keep it a secret because he’s afraid of coming out to the people in his small town and losing his ranch.
Though Lorcan cares for Quinn and Quinn cares for Lorcan, there is another vying for Lorcan’s attention. So when Lorcan stands up for himself and refuses to have the type of hushed relationship Quinn seeks, Lorcan finds solace with Jess. The story is solid and straightforward with enough description to keep a reader interested. The plot got a bit twisted up with inner dialogue that became redundant and frankly frustrating. I get that this was meant to convey the character’s turmoil but at some point given that each has feelings for the other, something should’ve progressed. Their indecision held the story down so when Jess came along, I was grateful for the change. Jess, another ranch hand, is all too happy to stand on the barn roof and shout of his affection for Lorcan. He’s a refreshingly happy character and offers Lorcan the acceptance he so much desires.
The sexual frustration in this book is high, the emotional level is high, but it lacks the chemistry characters falling in love typically embody. The sex scenes are hot, but it’s the attraction – the draw - between the characters that’s missing. And while I feel it a little more with Quinn and Lorcan, it’s weak. The balance between sexual chemistry and frustration was simply off-balance. And the relationships between Lorcan and Quinn and Lorcan and Jess are so very different that I felt confused though I enjoyed the tension Jess brought forth because he caused movement in the plot. But I still felt an allegiance to the initial relationship between Lorcan and Quinn.
The non-ending ending is extremely dissatisfying and the book very depressing. It depicts what happens when one cannot follow their heart as a result of society’s prejudice. Was it a happy ending? I still don’t know. But I do know that I’ll be reading the next book in this series to find out what’s in store for Lorcan next. Despite all my complaints, I still found myself caring about Lorcan. And though its sure to be another emotional journey, I must know if he finds his true happiness after all.
RATING: 4 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
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