Desert Isle Keeper
When Mackenzie buys the 140-year-old church with the idea of it becoming a destination wedding venue for gay marriages, he expects his wealthy lover to pitch in and help him. Mackenzie is dismayed when his lover dumps him for a younger man. Deciding it’s time to grow up and become independent, Mackenzie moves into the church basement with his dog, and digs in to make his dream come true.
Into his life fall contractor Will Sutton and his twin Joe, a rancher and firefighter who helps Will on occasion. The twins have been the sole caretakers of their sisters and brother since their parents’ tragic death years before. They’ve also become the guardians of their brother’s child while their brother has been away.
But things are changing in everyone’s life. Will is about to marry his girlfriend, and the brother has returned, ready to be a father to his child. The younger sister is about to graduate from high school and go on to college. That leaves Joe by himself to take care of the ranch. And although Joe is attracted to Mackenzie, he really can’t see a former model falling for a weather-beaten rancher, even if they are the same age.
Taciturn Joe is his own worst enemy and doesn’t realize how much Mackenzie relies on his experience with the people around town and with building renovation, dwelling instead on how worldly Mackenzie is. Joe’s the guy readers will want to slap upside the head and advise him to wise up.
Mackenzie, the main character, is a lovable muddle, who because of modeling has never had to do much physical labor and quickly understands that gym workouts are nothing like pulling weeds or ripping out lumber. Since he’s relied on his good looks for work, he’s also unaccustomed to appearing before city council groups or bankers to ask for backing. He does, however, genuinely want to change and become his own man.
Besides Mackenzie and the Sutton family, readers will love the people of Falls Creek, especially Mackenzie’s closest neighbor, Lorraine, who integrates him into her card playing group and other town activities. Lorraine’s a force to be reckoned with and becomes another lifeline Mackenzie desperately needs to survive in the small town.
I can’t wait to read the sequel to this novel which is coming out in the spring of 2014.