This is definitely a 5+ star read for me and I'm surprised to see so many 4 star reviews! The writing in this is just beautiful and the characterizations so rich and true and I actually found myself slowing down to savor every word.
Some of the things I loved:
* the soap opera that ensued when a gorgeous young cowboy was dropped into an isolated bunk house with 3 supposedly straight ranch hands -- ay carumba!
* the first person voice of Speed. His internal thoughts as he realized he had feelings for a man and was likely gay despite years of who-knew were so spot on and rich with with honesty. So often in stories where one MC is undergoing a change like this it's glossed over or unrealistic -- not here
* the Crandall character
* loads of great dialogue/banter -- no "we talked for hours and he was so clever" here. Z.A. delivers the goods and then piles more goods on top of that.
* the ranch, the animals.
There isn't much I didn't like about this book other than the plotline got pretty sad when a major character is lost and the future is uncertain. It was all well-done and, well, was the plot of the book, but I really found all that very secondary to the actual language of the book and the characters.
Thank you, Z.A. for a wonderful read. I look forward to the next book in the series.