The Blacksmith and the Ex-Con by Jackie North

The Blacksmith and the Ex-Con (Farthingdale Ranch, #2)The Blacksmith and the Ex-Con is a beautifully written story featuring hurt/comfort, a strong daddy and the healing power of Love.

From the Author:

“If anybody ever needed him, Ellis did. Ellis was broken. Jasper liked to fix things.”
Jasper has the perfect life. He’s a blacksmith at a small guest ranch in Wyoming. The last thing he needs is to have that perfect life interrupted by a shifty-eyed ex-con, but the ranch needs the tax benefits the ex-con program will bring.

Traumatized by his time in prison, Ellis can barely speak. He’s about to be offered parole. He knows he will hate working on the guest ranch, but what other option does he have?

It’s not love at first sight. It’s not hate at first sight, either, but something in between.

A gay m/m cowboy romance with age gap, hurt/comfort, opposites attract, forced intimacy, emotional scars, trauma leading to mutism, grumpy/grumpy, and baths. A little sweet, a little steamy, with a guaranteed HEA.

My review:
Sometimes you need to root for the underdog and this is one of those times! Eilis is coming out of prison with so much loss and heartache, he's so vulnerable ... and although Jasper is further away from his own heartbreak, he's also scarred and vulnerable in his own way. With Ellis' freedom and the ranch they both live on still dealing with it's own almost fatal blow, how can a romance bloom between two flawed men?
That's why you need to READ THIS BOOK! I do recommend starting the Farthingdale Ranch series at number 1, just to know who the other players in the book are, but I feel it can be read as a standalone if you really want to... but why would you?