To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at 18 for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico's in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn't had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.
Braden's life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of 15 years who's trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian - even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.
When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a friends with benefits fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an old guy who didn't come out until he carried a mountain of baggage?
©2016 Tara Lain (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
"Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly are amazing!"
Tara Lain has always been one of my favorite authors. I completely adore book one, Knight of Ocean Avenue, in her Love in Laguna series and have been a follower of the collection since my first taste. So, I was extremely excited to hear Ian was getting his own story in this fourth installment, Lord of a Thousand Steps.
I’m also pretty vocal in my appreciation for K.C. Kelly’s fine voice and truly amazing narrations. He has done a brilliant job with the entire Love in Laguna series and his narrative of Lord of a Thousand Steps does not disappoint.
There are so many things to love about this story, but I do think it’s important to have read the previous books in the collection first as characters such as Jim and Ken feature quite prominently in this installment. Plus we get glimpses of Billy and Shaz (my personal favorite couple of the series) and even Ru and Grey.
Young Ian Carney is in love with his boyfriend of three years. He’s living with his brother Jim, and his fiance Ken, with his lovable sidekick cat aptly named Anderson, after Anderson Cooper (because of his white fur).
In his last year of architecture school, he has the dream internship of the century with the prestigious Lord and Kendrick architecture firm. One of the firm’s clients has taken a personal interest in him, due to his talent in design, and this puts Ian in close contact with his boss, Braden Lord.
Braden’s personal life is a mess. He’s in the process of a messy divorce with a wife who is trying to do everything in her power to take their two kids away from him. On top of this he’s finally taking the steps to be an out man and is venturing into the “dating pool”. He’s also taken an interest in Ian and can’t seem to take his eyes off the young man.
A chance encounter at the beach between Ian, Braden and his kids sparks an instant familiarity between the two men. Braden’s young son Jo-Jo especially takes to Ian. And young Mirelle is completely fascinated that Anderson - a cat - is at the beach.
Braden suddenly realizes that he’s attracted to Ian but the eight year age difference is daunting. As well as the fact that he’s Ian’s boss.
Ian soon comes to realize that the boyfriend he thought he loved, and planned a future with, has been lying to him all along. Poor Ian goes through some serious heartache in this story. I felt so bad for him but in the same respect it was really nice to see him grow from the young boy he was in book two to a mature young man dealing with heartache - and life. The support he has from Jim and Ken is tremendous and K.C. Kelly truly shines in his performance, bringing Ian to life.
Tara Lain has such a great sense of humor in her writing and Kelly does an amazing job transferring this story to reality, delivering Ian and Braden’s interactions with warmth and emotion.
What I really love about this book is the chemistry between Ian and Braden, the progression of their relationship and how they evolve as friends to lovers. Ian meshes so well with Braden’s children and the story is told with humor and a pacing which just flows really well. The men do encounter some rough patches but the angst is pretty low and issues are resolved pretty quickly.
Lord of a Thousand Steps really is a fun and sweet story with lots of sexy and romantic times; and as usual K.C. Kelly truly shines with his narration!
"Ebook, yes. Audio edition, not so much."
I liked both Ian and Braden. They were simply nice guys. I felt that Ian was a little too back and forth with his feelings between Braden and Rico, but the swift resolution of that did make for less angst. I think Miray(sp) and JoJo were adorable, as was Anderson Cooper.
I liked how the characters in the previous books in this series were included and played a large part in the story.
Although I enjoyed the Ebook version of this when I read it months ago, the narration on this book left much to be desired. Mr Kelly sounds a bit too old, and though he does passion well, he didn't really change his voice much for other emotions. And the only character to really have a different voice was Chaz. All the other characters sounded exactly alike. I'll probably put Mr Kelly on my do not buy list.
"Love in Laguna Book Four"
Love in Laguna Book Four
Ian Carney is well on his way to a great career in architecture when his boyfriend of three years is pulled away for a family emergency in Mexico. Without hearing from him, Ian is worried but cannot do very much about it. Instead he attends a dinner for his job and meets the boss's boss and they hit it off. Braden Lord cannot stop staring at the young intern who has captured the eye of everyone in the room. In the middle of a nasty divorce, he cannot imagine saddling anyone with his troubles and kids. Later in the evening, Ian and Lord meet on the beach when Ian is walking his cat and Braden is with his kids. The kids love Ian, and the cat, and he ends up babysitting. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
If you've been waiting for Ian to get his story, this is all you could've dreamed of.
"Ian's story! Kc Kelly does a nice job."
Yay! Ian’s story!
Ian is Jim’s younger brother (by 8 years) from book 2. He’s now 21 and almost done with his architecture degree. He’s working for Braden Lord as an intern and really impressing him with his work – but both men figure the other is out of their “league”.
So – this is a bit more than a May/December story. It’s a Boss/Employee story, an OFY story, a Newly Gay story, a Single Dad story, a Rebound Lover story, a Friends With Benefits turns Serious love story… so many things!
As usual Tara Lain gives us two very hot MCs, and some scorching tension, some serious/angsty moments, some humor and this time around, two very precocious children. I thought Jo-Jo, Braden’s son, was pretty accurately portrayed. He had several “teenage”moments, but some moments where he did the right thing, too. While I though Mirelle was fabulous and hysterical, she’s not a good representation of any five year old I know. But… she’s great nonetheless.
Of the four stories, I still love Book One the best, followed by Book Three, but this bumps Book Two for my third favorite. I loved seeing Jim and Ken again and appreciated the addition Ken’s family has in the Carney boys. I thought Jim and Ken’s wedding was hysterical and sweet.
I wish there’d been a bit more relationship building between Ian and Braden as a couple – they are together so briefly before the story ends – but I appreciated how quickly their “make up” scene happened – no drawn out angst needed.
I sincerely hope we don’t see Rico again – though I’m sure he’s got a story to tell – he was SOOOO d**chey!
All in all this was a great addition to this series of great stories and for fans of the series/author this is a must. If you’ve never read any of the books in the series, you can probably read this on it’s own, though you’ll be missing out on some great stories!
(PS Anderson Cooper – LOVE HIM!)
Highly Recommended 4.5 of 5 stars
I am a huge KC Kelly fan. Some of my all time favorite narrations are done by him ie Frog or Brute . I think he's done a tremendous job with several other Tara Lain stories like Knight of Ocean Avenue so it pains me to say that I didn't LOVE this one as well. I liked it and found it easy to listen to, but it didn't trip any awesome triggers as some of his other works have. I didn't care for his hispanic accents, nor did I think he did an age-appropriate voice for Ian. I wanted Ian to be a bit - lighter? - than Braden and he and Braden were too similar to really distinguish despite the years separating them. I liked how he handled the kids voices and I still think he's got impeccable timing. His voice is lovely and so easy to listen to, so my few "niggles" shouldn't detract you from enjoying this in audio format.
4 of 5 stars
Overall 4.25 (rounded up to 4.5) stars
"A really enjoyable read"
This is an author I always enjoy. This story was w/o any major angst, it was funny, had a couple of great kids, and Anderson was a delightful cat. I recommend getting it, you will not be disappointed.
"Definitely worth a look see and listen."
First, I think Lord of a Thousand Steps, which is the fourth story in the Love in Laguna series, could absolutely be read as a standalone. I haven’t read the third book in the series and I wasn’t lost at all.
There was quite a bit I liked in the story, including a lot of the secondary characters. But what can I say? Mostly, I just love a well done age gap story and with Ian at twenty one years old and Braden at thirty-five this certainly delivers.
I liked Ian, and have since he first showed up in Knave of Broken Hearts (Love in Laguna #2). I was looking forward to his story, and Lain delivers – with Ian going through his first real heartbreak, becoming more mature, and finally learning to love again.
I also liked Braden, and how he struggled with what was the right thing to do about being with Ian. Not only because of the age gap, but because of the office politics, etc. as well.
I liked that Ian and Braden develop a friendship before they begin a relationship. And I liked that Jim and Ken were still together and we get to see them well loved and their happy ending.
*****Braden grabbed Ian. “Jesus, I love you. It’s like I was just marking time in my life until you were old enough for me.” The thought dove straight to Ian’s heart.******
While it’s true that I liked a lot about the story: the flow, the romance, the characters…I did have two niggles that kept me from totaling swooning. The first, is that I found five and half year old Mireille way too precocious for that age. Sure, I’m basing that off my family and friend’s children, but I don’t know any who speak and behave that way at that age (and yes, there’s even a genius kid in that group – and even he doesn’t speak like Mireille). The second, is I didn’t buy the housekeeper/nanny was unaware of what was happening, and since she was technically on Braden’s payroll I had a very hard time believing that she wouldn’t talk to him.
As for the narration, K.C. Kelly is a distinctive voice actor. His voice, his pacing – they’re very recognizable. And while I enjoyed the narration on the whole, especially with Kelly’s character voices, there were some problems with sound quality in a few places. Not enough to ruin a good time, but definitely enough to be noticeable.
Bottom line, this is a fun, sweet, sexy, and entertaining romance with good narration and only a few niggles. Definitely worth a look see and listen.
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