'Journey to Hope' is the fourth book in J.P. Bowie's series 'Ride 'Em' and what sounded like and started out as a promising story sadly lost it's steam as it progressed.
Josh Kenyon is finally free after spending 8 years in prison for a crime that he says he didn't commit. Finding a posting for help wanted at a local ranch when he stops for something to eat he decides that with a name like Hope Ranch it may be just the place he needs to get a second chance and start over again so he calls. Brett's desperate for help and trusting his instincts he give Josh the chance he's been looking for.
This all seemed so promising and even when 2 days into his new job Josh and Brett fall into bed together, I was still hopeful, after all Josh pushes all the right buttons for Brett, who like any normal male has needs and he's neither blind nor immune to Josh's appeal and Josh hasn't been with another man in over 8 years so needless to say he's more than willing to see where things could go with Brett. So I could see how this happened, however, somewhere along the way Brett who I had initially liked seemed to change and I became less than impressed with his potty mouth (Josh's description not mine) and his behaviour in general. He suddenly seemed like an immature potty mouthed, sex obsessed 13 year old rather than a grown man who was responsible for running a 100 acre ranch and determined to get it out of the debt that his father had unknowingly left it in.
Add to this the fact that the relationship between Josh and Brett as well as the sex seemed flat, lacking in both emotion and believability and I soon found that I wasn't feelin' the love.
All this was compounded by the fact that while the development of the relationship between these two men was the central part of the story I felt that the secondary part of this story which was the resolving of why and how Josh ended up in jail for a crime he didn't commit could have been stronger and integrated with things better. This whole concept seemed to have the potential to be a much stronger and better executed story than it was.
I've read a few books by this author (20+) and while not all of them have been 5 star reads several and most of them have been considerably better than this one leaving me with the feeling that the story I got definitely fell short of what was possible.