If you have read any of Barbara’s books, you are likely to know that she masters the art of story weaving as well as intense emotions in her stories.
And if you follow my reviews, you will know that I am constantly amazed by each book Barbara releases.
With all that said I find it hard to believe that the first book I read of Barbara’s “Dirty Games” I did not finish. I know I know you are all in shock now. It just goes to show that you should never judge an author on just one book, give them a second or third chance to win you over.
Whilst I love Jonty’s story and he will probably remain my favourite character of Barbara’s for a long time to come. I think Waiting for Ru, is my favourite book in the Unfinished Business series.
The author manages to portray Ru’s past in such a deep and emotion way, that I felt I could understand the situation Ru was in. His sole friends were the horses on his uncle’s farm. The love he had for the horses was so authentic.
We first met Ru in Tyler and Inks (ru’s brother) story A Long Way Back. Having read both books we truly get to see the damage that Ru’s Uncle and Aunt caused by kidnapping Ru and allowing Ink to be blamed for it.
Ru lived his childhood from the age of 8 in isolation on the farm, believing that his family had been killed in an accident. Home schooled, no friends or visitors to the farm, he only had the horses and his crow for company.
So when he suddenly finds himself free and alone, he has to learn everything about social interaction, new technology etc. How daunting that situation must be.
But to make matters worse the horses are being sold at an auction, which breaks his heart. Determined to ensure they get a good home; he turns up at the auction where he meets Jasim
, who is a crowned prince from the middle east. Jasim has his own secret past, as well as being unable to be openly gay because of his heritage and religion, believing that his family would have him killed if he shamed their family with his sexuality.
Jasim buys Cookie and Joni, on a whim, because he needed a connection to the stranger a young man named Ru. Initially they go their separate ways, but when Ru turns up at Jasim stately home and polo club stables. To check that Cookie and Joni were being treated well, Ru half expects the horses to have been sold.
These two broken characters are fighting to find their place in the world, and hopefully love at some point.
The contrast between Ru’s innocence and naivety and Jasim’s darker past but yearning for a free life. Is so well written. The unspoken attraction between them from their first meeting is so strong you just know they will come out at the other side as conquerors.
But there are certainly many obstacles in their path, not least Jasim’s family, and his guilt for what happened with a previous sexual partner. (Which is covered in another of Barbara’s books, Give Yourself Away.) not to mention a stable manager who has it in for Ru and nearly kills him.
As with the other books you will need plenty of tissues, maybe’s a teddy to cuddle and comfort you. Because you are going to have your emotions twisted, tangled, untangled, retwisted, trodden on, yes you get the picture. But do not think this book is full of misery, because it certainly has his happy moments, especially when the characters get to meet up in secret, and when they are eventually able to be open and share their love with their friends.
I really liked the way once they got rid of Mike, the team and their friends rallied round Ru and Jasim, like a family. It was so heart warming and left me feeling all cosy inside.
A must read for fans of Barbara’s or anyone who likes to be taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.