I have a soft spot for poly romances. I may joke that it’s because you get multiple relationships in one book for the same low price. However, it’s mostly because what I love about romance stories is the different ways people interact and connect. This book, in particular, intertwines three men from different walks of life and explores the developing bonds between each of them and with all of them together.
My biggest critique is that certain elements of those developments could have been explored further. However, I understand that Payne might not want the bulk of the story to be navel-gazing as the men process events and mentally interrogate their actions and the reasons for them. The inciting element to the poly aspect of this trio was a bit of an accident, if a happy one, that I squinted about at the time. But by the end of the book, it did feel like the natural progression of what Oscar, Jeffrey, and Russell were building between them.
Throwing together three men from very different lives can lead to its share of communication issues, especially when you include the poly dynamic. These moments are where the bulk of the book’s conflict arises, and I appreciated that Payne let her characters be as messy as real people sometimes are.
Overall, Payne crafts an excellent story with well-crafted heroes and secondary characters. Stable Hill Farm also becomes almost a character itself, and I cared about its future as much as I did for all the humans. The ultimate resolution is a lovely twist that is both surprising and completely obvious—once these three wonderful men, and the reader, are willing to reach for it.