The Cook and The Gangster (Farthingdale Ranch book 5) by Jackie North

Your best friend disappears just days after you kiss him and you've spent years trying to find him again...

From the The Cook and The Gangster blurb:

“Time cannot erase the love I feel for you, my friend.”

Levi has worked very hard to find a private corner of the world where his past can’t catch up to him. His life, with its fourteen-hour days working in the ranch’s kitchen, is a little humdrum, but he likes it that way. And it’s safe, because he lets no one get close.

While cutting onions one day, Cassidy sees a clip of a documentary on TV, and lo, he sees his old friend Levi, who he’s been looking for for years. The next day, he’s traveling west to Wyoming, taking a job as a chef at a guest ranch.

When Cassidy shows up in his kitchen, Levi’s world is turned upside-down.

A gay m/m cowboy romance with opposites attract, emotional scars, grumpy/sunshine, friends from childhood, and desire that simply won’t go away. A little sweet, a little steamy, with a guaranteed HEA.

Heather's Review:

I've loved all of the Farthingdale Ranch stories, but to be honest, I've been waiting to find out exactly what Levi has been hiding... and boy, it wasn't anything like I thought, but it was so much more!

Levi has always been reclusive and reluctant, but strong and assertive in the four previous books in this series and I was waiting to see how his HEA would shape up.  I never expected it would be in the form of a former childhood best friend with a past of his own... but it so works!

I love that Cassidy, despite his upbringing is a sunny, sweet and hopeful man who hops on a plane to Wyoming without a thought when he finds his long lost friend who has never been far from his mind...The spark, the push and pull are electric and I appreciate just what Cassidy endures to get what he wants!

The Cook and The Gangster has drama, steam, sweetness, history and laughter - all in just the right balance to create magic!  I do recommend reading the Farthingdale Ranch series books in order, but if this one draws you in, it could be read standalone.

Rating: 5 Stars