I approached this book with a LOT of trepidation -- mainly because the blurb stated "emotionally abusive wife". I have come into that phase in my MM-romance-reading life, where I got strong dislike with women being portrayed as villains in the process of the two men getting together. However, I also have built an attachment to Lang Downs and the men working there, so I really was curious with Sam (Neil's older brother) and Jeremy (Devlin's younger brother) story.
Well, I was glad that my worry didn't really happen. Yes, Sam's wife was emotionally abusive, but she stayed behind the screen throughout. She only be part of conversations but never appeared on the pages. It was easier for me to forget that she existed.
I highly enjoyed the fact that the relationship between Sam and Jeremy was slowly built -- Sam was adamant that he didn't want to start anything that would endanger his divorce process, and Jeremy was patient to wait. So their relationship wasn't full with lust or physical intimacy. I loved that Jeremy agreed that "There’s a lot more to a relationship than just sex" (YES, YES, YES!!)
The whole book was mainly about them becoming friends, doing their day-to-day activities at the ranch, Jeremy teaching Sam to ride, Sam building his own confident that had been shattered by losing his job and his wife's words ... the story felt down-to-earth to me because of that, and these men to be grounded. One of my favorite parts would be when Sam rescued a little kitten and Jeremy's dog ended up being the one so possessive over the kitten *laugh*.
I also liked the update on Caine and Macklin's relationship, with Caine preparing surprise for his lover (
Yes, like the previous two books, it might got humdrum in the middle, but I really didn't mind the pace at all. I might be a little frustrated with Sam's inability to see his own self-worth, which was part of the reason for my rating. It could be repetitive at times. But in the whole assessment, this might be my favorite book so far from the series.
For me, Outlast the Night is another solid installment. I really liked it. I know that it looks like Lang Downs will be one of those gay ranches, where everyone working there would end up gay (*grin*) but it also feel like coming to familiar faces after reading three books in the span of two weeks. So I will definitely be there for the next book.