Book Reviews

Signs of Spring (Wild Ones 2) by Rachel Ember at Chestnut Press

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Contemporary / Cowboys / Age Gap / Romance
Reviewed by Kristin F. on 19-April-2021

Book Blurb

Their unlikely connection grows stronger every day, but to stay together they have to believe not only in each other, but also in themselves.

Lance never believed the stars could align for him to have a real chance with Robbie, and even though they’ve spent every day—and night—together for weeks, a part of him still isn’t convinced it’s all real. But until the inevitable moment he loses Robbie, Lance intends to savor what they share. When Lance is dragged back to Chicago, he’s both relieved and terrified when Robbie offers to come with him.

Robbie loves his family’s Nebraska ranch, but he’s also been solely responsible for keeping it afloat since he was eighteen. He’s always wanted to experience life outside his rural hometown. His glimpse into Lance’s friends and work in Chicago is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s all too easy to picture a future in Lance’s city and at Lance’s side. On the other hand, it seems impossible given Robbie’s responsibilities to the ranch, and he doesn’t want to hold Lance back from the life and career he’s made.


Book Review

This book cannot be read as a stand-alone, please read ‘Long Winter’ first as it establishes the characters and setting. I think that ‘Long Winter’ is the stronger book, but ‘Signs of Spring’ pulls Robbie and Lance’s relationship into place. I adored ‘Long Winter’ and I will admit, I struggled with ‘Signs of Spring’. 


Lance and Robbie are settling into their new relationship but there are unresolved issues – Robbie has not told his brothers about his rapport with Lance, something that doesn’t sit well with Robbie. Lance knows he needs to return to Chicago to completely – legally and emotionally - extract himself from Niall. Robbie is concerned about how Johnny and Danny will respond to him being bi and having a relationship with their childhood friend. He’s also concerned that if Lance goes to Chicago and his former modeling life, he’s not coming back.


This is a slow dance of complicated family relationships (Robbie/Johnny/Danny), of complicated legalities (Niall/Lance), of complicated personal relationships (Robbie/Lance), and how so much is built on trust. This is the interesting part of the plot. All these interwoven relationships and how Robbie and Lance navigate them. 


Where I struggled with ‘Signs of Spring’ is those plot items which were left unresolved. There are allegations of arson, intentional trespassing, and damage to personal property on the farm but nothing was done to answer for it. Legal actions are initiated by Lance against Niall, but the author doesn’t say how it ends. Johnny left Robbie in the lurch in an unforgivable act of selfishness, but Robbie just shrugged it off. So many loose ends left blowing in the wind! 


In addition to the relationships, where I thought the strength of the overall story and plot resided, were all the supporting characters. Lance’s sister and his niece, Robbie’s ex Megan, Felony, the horses, the Triplicates, Lance’s friends in Chicago. There is a delightful mix of the down-to-earth, the quirky, and the furry. 


I could go on, but this is a review, not a rewriting of the book.  Go read ‘Long Winter’ and ‘Signs of Spring’!  




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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 273 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-March-2021
Price $4.99 ebook, $13.99 paperback
Buy Link