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cover65213-mediumThe Closer You Get

by Carter Ashby

If there’s one thing Rye Holcomb hates, it’s small, tight-knit towns with high virtues and zero tolerance for outsiders. Fidelity is just such a town. And Rye is just such an outsider. So when he and his brother, Cash, take jobs in Fidelity, Rye decides not to get too comfortable. Which is why he is avoiding some rather confusing feelings for his new boss, Cora McKay.

Cora was born, raised, and baptized in Fidelity. She owns a thriving construction business, has a close circle of friends, and is the breadwinner for her mother and four sisters. The one thing she lacks is a sex life, something she’s never longed for until now. One conversation with Rye sparks her sexual awakening, and, in spite of his reputation as a man-whore, Cora can’t resist giving in to his advances.

As Rye enjoys initiating his virgin employer, and Cash experiences a relationship with a man for the first time in his life, they begin to think of Fidelity as home. But small towns have brought them trouble in the past, and it appears Fidelity holds trouble for their future. Can their newfound relationships be enough to overcome a past that relentlessly follows them? Can two men who have been burned by love learn to trust again?

Y’all Rye is a complete dog at the beginning of this story.  He’s got some baggage that he’s carrying around with him and it affects his relationships with others – he’s in a vicious cycle of shallow interactions and bad attitude.  Fortunately for him, interacting with Cora shakes him up and has him re-evaluating things.  Once he starts acting like a human being, he proves to be intelligent, fun-loving, resourceful and caring.  We know early on that he is very dedicated to his brother, but he shows that that part of him extends to all those that he calls his.

Cora is an interesting duck – she’s repressed, afraid of sexual interactions and not confident in herself as a woman.  She’s spent years thinking she was unattractive and unable to get a guy’s attention, but after a couple of meetings with Rye she starts to look at things differently.  Some might find that her timidity gets old but it works for the person she is and the more time spent with Rye the better she gets.

I love the way that these two interact once Rye finally starts trying to be a better man.  His attempt to help her experience all of the things that she missed out on is so endearing and fun.  He shows that he cares with his actions and the thought he puts into making her happy.  He may be coarse and nothing like she’s used to, but he proves to be just what Cora needs 

There’s a secondary story around a relationship between Rye’s brother Cash and Cora’s friend Adam.  Cash’s lifestyle is one of the things that has given Rye his attitude about small towns but the love and dedication between the two brothers is strong.  Unfortunately Adam isn’t able to get over the things that Rye has done since he hit town and how it has created waves with those around him, while Cash’s history makes it very difficult for him to share his feelings and thoughts.  As they start to develop a relationship (there is some M/M scenes so be prepared if that isn’t your thing – but keep in mind that it is the heart that is the most important part of this story), their issues may make things impossible for everyone.

The Closer You Get is full of emotional ups and downs.  With friends, family and significant others learning how to maneuver around each other, things get messy fast.  All they can do is try to figure out if what they have is worth fighting for.  I think so and I’m sure you will too.