Review: Changes Coming Down (Changes #1) by Kaje Harper

For three gay men in love, opening the closet door could be a risky move.

Sheriff Casey Barlow has a slick, media-savvy challenger out to beat him in the upcoming election. Casey's damned good at his job, but he hasn't kissed the right asses, and early polls suggest voters like his opponent's style. Coming out now, let alone revealing his relationship with two men, could sink any hope of keeping his badge.

Scott Edison has a real shot at the NHL. He's playing the best hockey of his life. Whenever he can, he travels home to his gruff sheriff and their laid-back cowboy, but there are no out gay players in the NHL. As a rookie working his ass off to be called up, he can't afford to make waves.

Will Rice always figured he'd live alone, managing Graham and Annmarie Slater's cattle ranch, but a hot, young hockey player and a compact, muscled lawman rearranged his plans. Even though he's older and lanky and ordinary, he's been sharing their lives and their beds. He doesn't need to be out— isn't sure he ever wants the Slaters to know about him. Life's good the way things are. 

Then Graham and Annmarie are killed in a hit and run that may not be an accident. As Will grieves, and Casey investigates, the coming changes will shake all their lives.

I’ll be the first to admit I can be a big ol’ baby when it comes to books sometimes. I love me some horror, thrillers, the whole mess. I like to read them late at night alone to amp the freak out factor. But, my romance? I need it to be swaddled for me in fluffy clouds and baby bunnies. Some of my absolute all time favorite books are heavy on the angst, but I really have to work myself up to them. I never regret reading them in the end, but struggles in love are tough for me to deal with.

I am obviously a huge fan of LGBTQIA romance, and there are a few plot points that kill me to death and I turn extra Pollyanna about reading them. One of the biggies that hits me hardest is the characters who live in the closet, for whatever reason. Reading about the injustice of anyone not living their best life because of the potential fallout is tough for this big ol’ baby. And that’s just my privileged self sitting on my couch, reading about a struggle I will never know but want to learn to empathize with.

So, reading the blurb for Changes Coming Down, I was thinking, “Ann, this is so going to kick your sorry ass.” And it did, but honestly, I’ve read enough Kaje Harper to know that she is going to hit me with way too many feelings, but they’ll be really well balanced with some humor, hope and MCs that have me hooked from the first page I meet them.

Three closeted guys in a committed relationship is a tall order of a story. Throw in some murder mystery and that’s a lot of real estate to tie together and make flow comprehensively. But the author did it and it read so smoothly, I kind of forgot there were so many separate elements going on. Because all those elements ended up tied together very logically, the book read smoothly and it was truly hard to put down.

The biggest strength of Changes Coming Down is the bond between Scotty, Will and Casey. They all have very strong and distinct personalities, but their conversations and inner musings showed how much they cared for and needed one another. They were already established when the books starts and their history is told in bits as the story progressed, which worked completely fine for me because I already was sold on the three of them being together.

There are plenty of tense moments as their futures shift them out of their comfort zones, and there were times when I wanted to put my Kindle in the freezer to save me from potentially heartbreaking scenes, but the guys supported one another so well, since they had each others back, they basically had mine too.

They each had their moments to lose their cool too and that helped keep the story grounded. Casey had a temper that got him into trouble on more than one occasion, so Will and Scotty knew how to deal with him well. They had each others numbers througout and that strength made it all work.

The book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it does end with some major changes for the three of them that sets up the second book coming soon. And thankfully it’s coming soon, because I am all kinds of invested over here. I need to know what’s going to happen with all the things, and there are A LOT of things I need to know and read more of.

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

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