Kindly note: If you haven't read some of the earlier books of this series, this review contains spoilers about some of the events in them.
Ruari – “Ru” – is still adjusting to his new reality. Kidnapped by his aunt and uncle when he was eight years old, he was told his parents and brother were dead, and kept in isolation so he couldn't find out differently. In the second book of this series, Long Way Back, Ru found out that his family wasn't dead, and that his brother had been imprisoned for Ru's murder. Now free from his aunt and uncle's control, he needs to decide what to do with his life. However, before sorting himself out, Ru needs to make sure the horses he loves are taken care of, and that's how he comes into contact with Jasim, an Arabian prince who tries very hard to resist his dangerous attraction to Ru.
I pretty much assumed that the character of Ru was a one-off introduced to bring about the happily-ever-after ending of “Long Way Back”. A thought reinforced by the fact that he wasn't even mentioned in the following book. But his story was definitely an interesting one, so it's been good to get to know the man better. While this volume does pick up the life of a character introduced in an earlier book, it is nonetheless one of the most stand-alone stories in the series so far. Ru's brother Ink and his boyfriend Tay appear very sparsely, so you don't really have to have read any of the other books of the series before tackling this one.
Ru is a hard character not to like and sympathize with. His determination to not be a victim, not be defined by what happened to him, is quite admirable, as well as demonstrating a surprising maturity for someone so young and innocent in the ways of the world. His journey from sheltered farm boy to skilled horse trainer is entirely believable.
Jasim is a somewhat unique character in current romance. Sure, we've had men who were closeted for good reason, but for Jasim it's a very real matter of life and death. If his family were to get the idea that he was attracted to men, let alone be in a relationship with another man, he could very well be “disappeared”. His struggle to figure out how to be his true self is one of the biggest dramatic drivers to the story.
“Waiting for Ru” is available from Amazon.