Review: Enticing Hart by Mae Hancock

Hart Emile is tired of cruising for guys, living a soulless existence. He needs a change; so when an acquaintance gives him the number of the gay friendly Red Fox Ranch that’s hiring for staff, he heads south.

 Oak Redman is eighteen years old and desperate to explore his awakening sexuality. The moment Hart lays eyes on the handsome young rancher he’s smitten. Not only is Oak hot, spirited and very persistent, he is also the ranch boss’s son and strictly off limits. Hart tries to fight his feelings and to respect his boss and the family who quickly become dear to him, but after Oak's Grandma suggests he gets with Oak he can't deny himself the most exciting and enticing man he has ever met.

Hart’s not the only man to have noticed how sweet and charming Oak Redman is. A family friend, Steve, is also anxious to have the affections of the young rancher. Can Hart work out Steve’s dark secrets before it’s too late and keep his job, his lover and his life?

I’m a sucker for cowboys. Always. I loved the premise of this story and snatched it up gladly. Overall I enjoyed the story but I think I liked the premise more than the execution. The setting and the introduction started out well. I liked Hart and how he found his way to the ranch.

My problem in the beginning was Oak and the way his interactions with Hart began. Oak is young and he acts like it. Being the rancher’s son with a lot of responsibility I expected more maturity from him and it was sorely lacking. There was door slamming and outbursts that just killed his character for me. He and Hart obviously have the hots for each other, but Bay (rancher/dad) has put his foot down with respect to anyone diddling his kids. Sounds reasonable really and given Oak’s level of maturity, a smart move. The way Oak came on to Hart was a little desperately creepy. Then the two of them are taking time off to go camping alone together and Hart hasn’t even worked there a week. It was just odd. More than once I thought I had slipped and fell into a YA novel.

I’m glad I stuck with it though because it did get better. Oak grew up a little once he and Hart started having actual conversations and I started getting into the story and invested in the characters. I liked Hart and Oak together, but I had some trouble reconciling why Hart was so into Oak beyond the physical attraction. He mentioned his kindness and gentle ways repeatedly but as a reader I didn’t see those things as clearly as Hart did. Oak laughed at his father’s attempts at making a pass and he ignored and forgot his very troubled friend more than once. If I had seen him do some more good and selfless things I would have totally bought into their relationship.

The secondary characters were strong, especially Bay, Oaks dad. There is a story there for him and I would love to read it. He’s got OCD that affects the ranch operations and there is a hand that has been crushing on him for years. I hope Bay opens his eyes in the future.

I would be remiss in my reviewing duties if I didn’t mention the inconsistencies in the story. I’ll be the first to admit I am NOT strong with noticing that kind of thing and if I noticed, you will. I can usually shine on minor issues and typos if I’m really into the story, but because I was struggling a little the inconsistencies really stood out and took away from the bits I was enjoying. For instance, when Hart first sees Oak he says, “Had she noticed his jaw dropping in awe of the rancher’s son?” and not two sentences later he says, “Oh no. Could Oak be the boss’s son?” Ummmm, yes. Oak and Steve are having a debate about all the different guys that Oak has supposedly been with and Oak says, “I fumbled about with the one last year, another in college, and the thing we did together . . .” Oak is 18 and just graduated from high school. I’ll let you do the math. At one point Oak and Hart are stealing some moments together and “Oak strolled toward him bare-chested” and two pages later “Oak pulled his T-shirt off and threw it to the floor.” These are just a few examples and some solid editing could have made these moments a non-issue and let me fall into the story more than I was able to.

So, while this story was definitely rough around the edges, the bones were strong and it read like a first novel experience. I know you know what I mean. Have you gone back in an established author’s backlist and read their first published work and gone, “Wow, this author has come a long way”? That’s the reaction I had to this one. It’s a solid start and some quality editing and character tweaks would have made a world of difference in my enjoyment of this one. All that being said, I’m definitely interested in reading the next installment of the series, I really want to see where this story goes.

For more info on Enticing Hart check it out on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**


  1. Gonna have to pass on this one - detest inconsistencies BIG TIME.

    1. Yeah, they were a bummer and it was too bad. Hopefully things will be tightened up for the next installment.