~possible spoilers if you haven’t read Bareback~
Natural Disaster is the sequel to Bareback and once more took me to the ranch of Jake and Tor. After six years their relationship is still going strong, they bought the ranch from Doug Gillain and preparing for a family gathering. Life is good for both of them until one phone call sets their world spinning on its axes…
The moment I found out Bareback had a sequel I was in ecstasy because I felt that Jake and Tor’s story wasn’t fully told in Bareback. I couldn’t get my hands fast enough on a copy of Natural Disaster to find out what was happening between these two men I came to cherish so much. So when it arrived I was rapidly immersed in the day-to-day life of Jake and Tor and it was written in the down-to-earth writing style of Chris Owen that fits the cowboy and ranching backdrop to perfection. I found myself in ultimate bliss getting myself reacquainted with them when Jake and Tor’s world comes crashing down and I had to reach for my tissues again.
A death in the family sets the two cowboys up for a major change in their lives, namely the responsibility for their nephew. Chris Owen gives the feelings of loss such rawness that it reverberated with me throughout the novel. I was so moved by the effect it had on Jake, the way he tried to hold strong for everyone and the way Tor tried to support and comfort him. Loss can cripple a person emotionally and to see this play out between two men was so beautiful to see. Yet their actions also contained a head-on approach to deal with the situation which is typical for them.
Much of what I loved so much in Bareback was felt and read in Natural Disaster but I would’ve enjoyed the story even more if the author had more pages to tell the tale of these men in morning. The emotional rollercoaster of becoming a guardian over a teenager and the journey of coming to terms with the loss is not given the depth I came accustomed to in Bareback. Jake, Tor and Jacob need to adapt to a new situation and while it was all given to me with sincere feelings the months sped by in short chapters and it lost a bit of its impact.
With 228 pages it is still a heartthrob of a gay romance with erotic elements in them. The erotically charged need between Jake and Tor was as much a physical one as it was to find comfort and reaffirm the love between them. However, there were more pressing matters to attend to for them and while the eroticism didn’t have the same high-octane factor as in Bareback it was unmistakably present. I don’t feel it is fair but at the same time it is inevitable for me to compare the two stories and say that Natural Disaster is a delightful addition to the original tale but is unable to reach the same level. Simply because it missed the pages to unfold and deepen each characters emotional stirrings and development. I would say Natural Disaster adds another layer to Bareback that gave me the absolute well-rounded feeling I was looking for upon closing their first story.
This second novel may not have the full impact I had when reading Bareback but I did get to experience again the great love Jake and Tor share. It is so real, not shying away from the fact how hard it can be to nurture a relationship. It is a delicate balance and needs must be spoken out loud for the other to take it in consideration. I can’t get enough of how this gay couple communicates together, how essential their physical relationship is and how natural it feels between them. It is like witnessing the real deal between them, attaching me to them and feeling all their ups and downs. It is why I wanted that glorious, almost over the top, happily ever after for them. What I got was a real one and my heartbeat went up a notch in romantic ecstasy creating that moment where every reader wants to leave there leading couple.
Natural Disaster was about loss, grieve, hope, love and new beginnings which also needed Jacob, Elias and Cath to tell the tale and though it was a small it also was an important secondary cast, their presence was adding an intimate feel to the novel. If they already weren’t a cherished person they became one in this novel. Especially Jacob got a bigger role, he is teenage stubborn, he is endearing and he is coping with the new situation. He also presented change within the relationship of Jake and Tor and I enjoyed the effect from a dramatic point of view. For where can true romance soar? Only when it is challenged and ever changing to become stronger. This is definitely what Natural Disaster is all about and only for this fact you should catch up with this incredible set of ranching cowboys!
Natural Disaster contains the true essence of a happily ever after that makes me say that Jake and Tor are my true first love in Gay Erotica Romance and will forever be treasured on my shelves.
Tor owned him, body and soul, and there wasn’t any way Jake would change that. He breathed the air around them, and drew Tor into his lungs, into his blood, and it was better than right, it was living.