Title: Close to Home
Series: Sawyer’s Ferry: Book Four
Author: Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Category: Contemporary Romance
At a Glance: I really enjoyed the quiet undertones and the slow burn of this romance. Another solid read from Cate Ashwood!
Reviewed By: Jules
I excelled at two things: systems engineering and going completely unnoticed.
The engineering took work and determination. The invisibility came naturally. Until one day, the wrong person noticed me. Battered and broken, I fled, escaping to Sawyer’s Ferry and the only friends I’d ever had.
Now, I just needed to figure out what I was going to do next.
Life was good.
I had a great job, good friends, and a family who loved me. Even my roommate was decent. At least he was until he let his nudist brother come to visit. The opportunity to house-sit and help an injured friend couldn’t have come at a better time.
All I’d needed was to avoid an awkward situation for a few days, but I got more than I bargained for when my entire uncomplicated life flipped upside down. The last thing I’d been looking for was love, but it wasn’t until Witt that I realized just how much I’d been missing out on.
Review: “It was strange how natural it felt, being close to him like that. There are people who enter your life who you feel as though you’ve known forever.
Witt was like that for me.”
That quote sums up the feel of Cate Ashwood’s newest Sawyer’s Ferry book for me. Close to Home is Mason and Witt’s story, and it’s definitely the quietest book in the series. More introspective and sweet, less fun banter and heat. It’s also got a heavier vibe than the previous three books. Those things weren’t a tick in the negative column or anything…I liked the story very much despite the different mood. I will say that in the beginning the relationship felt a bit thrown together, i.e., the guys didn’t come together as organically as some of the other couples. That being said, though, it was little passages like the one above, and the way the relationship grew throughout the book, that sold me. I liked the guys individually the entire time, but by the end I was also on board with them as a couple.
Witt has spent his whole life trying to be invisible, trying to make himself as small as possible so he can fly under the radar and go unnoticed. In his experience, being noticed either made him feel unimportant or inferior, or, at its worst, made him a target. In its most benign form, negative attention or disapproval simply made Witt crawl into his shell, but one night, someone’s random, ugly, inexplicable disapproval causes him serious injury. Somehow, after this mindless, horrifying attack, Witt makes it to Sawyer’s Ferry, where Jackson and Logan take him in and help him with his injuries.
Witt’s arrival in town, and of course the unfortunate circumstances, doesn’t go unnoticed by Sawyer’s Ferry native Mason Briggs. Mason has always taken a quiet interest in Witt when he has come into town to hang out with Jackson; he’s drawn to Witt’s shy sweetness and feels a strong attraction to him beyond the intense protective pull he also feels. So, when Jackson and Logan need someone to come stay with Witt and help him out while they’re out of town, Mason jumps at the opportunity.
I really enjoyed the quiet undertones and the slow burn of this romance. Ashwood does a nice job building up the relationship, but I do wish there had been a bit more character development for Mason. I feel like we got a lot of great backstory on Witt and got to know him really well, but I was left wanting more as far as Mason was concerned. I got enough to make me super intrigued, and to really, really like him—but I think I would have felt a stronger connection if I knew more of what made him tick. I also enjoyed the drama/suspense aspect of the story with regard to Witt’s attacker, Silas, and how Mason helped Witt through all of the aftermath. I do think it must be difficult to write a villain without making them a bit of a caricature, and I felt like Ashwood fell into that trap just a little here, but it wasn’t too over the top.
Overall, I felt like this was a good addition to the series. I always love a little trip back to Sawyer’s Ferry, and I definitely enjoyed learning a bit more about Copper Creek’s mysterious brew master and seeing he and Witt fall for each other. 😊 Another solid read from Cate Ashwood!
You can buy Close to Home here:
[zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B07T27BJ37?d” style=”blue” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]