The Science Of Attraction (Mackenzie Country Book 3) by Jay Hogan - Review and Excerpt

The Science of Attraction is the third in the Mackenzie Country series.  Running his family's sheep station is everything to Jules, until he meets Liam the rehab specialist hired to help Jules' father. The unexpected possibility of love that makes two men want to work harder and risk more to be together.

From the blurb:

I am Mackenzie Country born and bred. Farming the high country runs in my blood, like my father, and his father, and my great grandfather before him. My future has been mapped out for me since the day I was born. Or at least it was, until Liam Skelton walks onto Lane Station, lights a fire in my heart, and turns my whole world upside down.  

Bossy, tatted, and out and proud, Liam is everything my father abhors.
And I want him.

But having a chance with Liam means risking everything. My family. My future. And my life in these mountains that I love.
Still, the heart wants what it wants, and mine wants Liam.

With so many things against us, maybe we don't have a chance.
Maybe we'll crash and burn.
Or maybe we’ll find a way to have it all.

SNiK's Review:

Third in series (Mackenzie Country), best if read in order. Dual POV. The newly hired occupational therapist is a temptation shepherd Jules can’t afford given that Jules is far, far in the bisexual closet. Liam knows the attraction is mutual, but respects that Jules lives under the thumb of his bigoted father and it would be a serious risk for something short term anyway. I enjoyed that Jules and Liam are two accomplished, mature men that actually may have found the one person they are willing to risk everything for. This story quickly ramps up the feelings between Jules and Liam even though they are trying to keep things slow. I appreciated that after Jules' initial hesitation that once he decides to get involved with Liam he is 100 % committed, and Liam allows him that control while being bossy in every other way in their time together. The supportive family members and friends were wonderful and Jules and Liam’s promises to each other were heartfelt and swoony.

LCDolphin's Review:

Amazing story of Julian Lane, rancher in the high country of New Zealand and Liam Skelton, visiting physiotherapist for Jules' father. This one has all the emotions - feelings between the characters, their concern for their families, the worry of the workings of the ranch, the confusion about the attraction, hope for a reconciliation and anger for the hatred. Couldn't get enough of all of it. Can't recommend enough.

Lesetiger's Review:

The Science of Attraction is the third book in the Mackenzie Country series. Although it can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the series in order. This has made it more enjoyable for me because I have already gotten to know and love most of the characters. This time it's about Julian, Jules for short, the son who has taken over the station after his father's stroke. A father who didn't make it easy for his first son Zach after he came out. Jules meets his father's privat rehab specialist, Liam. It was entertaining to read how Liam pushed Jules' father Paddy to his limits. Liam is openly gay and knows how to deal with Jules' father. But he awakens feelings in Jules that he's never had before.
I love it when a character finds their true self and is able to live it. That's why I really enjoyed Jules and Liam's story. I adore the two smypathic characters and it was great to see how their relationship developed. The author has also created interesting secondary characters that I really liked. All in all, a fascinating story about the family dynamics of the Lane family, which has many ups and downs over the course of the series.
The story was entertaining and emotional and it got super exciting towards the end. Another highlight for me was the setting - I love the mountains, the landscape, the farm. The author described all of this in such detail and wonderfully that I was able to imagine myself in the Australian highlands. I can't get enough of this series and am happy to recommend it to others!

Miki J's Review:

This series is just quite simply beautiful - both the setting and the writing. Up front, I would suggest reading the books in order, or at least read # 2 before this one. I love this entire book - we have older MC's who are steady in their lives....except for maybe their love life ...... and then they meet, and yes the attraction is instant - the heart wants what the heart wants....and maybe that other pesky appendage as well...hehehehe The tongue'n'cheek humour in this book is deftly done - I was cracking up at the innuendo's (that fishing instruction....bahahahahaha) but it's also very romantic. Sometimes, the storytelling really hooks you in and this one surely did, especially at that first touch between the MC's...that anticipation....swoon. And this didn't have the third act breakup....they were up front and honest with each other and it all comes together beautifully. Just brilliant - now, who's next ?!?!

Rogue's Review:

This is the 3rd in a series, and although it can standalone, it's best read as part of a series as there are important events and cameos that impact this story from the other books. Jules is bisexual, but closeted because of an extremely homophobic father who previously has kicked out his other son for being gay. Liam is a therapist hired to help said homophobic father recover after a serious stroke and there's a real connection with Jules which they explore.

I liked both MCs, Jules we've met before in the previous books in the series, but Liam is new. I felt for Jules, with his terrible father and his sidekick making his life as miserable as possible by not allowing him to be what he wants freely. I loved seeing Jules' evolution as the story moved on, emboldened by his burgeoning relationship with Liam and finally standing up to his father. There are 2 main threads here, the relationship between Jules and Liam and the storyline with his father. While ultimately I think Marty the sidekick got off easy - what a horrible old bigot he was - it was a satisfying conclusion to see Jules' dad perhaps finally come round. Jules and Liam were were so well suited too, I loved this whole story and the HEA too.

Heather's Review:

I love when a character gets to experience his true self for the first time and that's what happens with Jules!  Having taken over his father's ranch after his father's stroke, meeting the new physical therapist is a wake up call for Jules in so many ways... It's lovely watching the two of them fall in love, and it's also interesting watching the evolution of the family dynamic.

So much going on - you could read it standalone, but it really is better read in order - the depth of understanding you'll have for the dynamics at play and the layout of the stations definitely increased my ability to get into the story.

The Science of Attraction is available in paperback and e-book formats and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Tropes: Hurt comfort | Opposites attract | Humour | Small town | Homophobia | Closeted/coming out | Bisexual awakening | Different worlds | Overcoming odds | Courage

Release date: February 22. 2024

Amazon Universal:

In this place. In my arms. He could be free. I would take care of him. We would take care of each other.


When we arrived back at the cottage, Jules looked pretty much like I figured I did—grilled to within an inch of his life. I’d barely stepped in the door when he grabbed my hand and pulled me back out onto the veranda and proceeded to kiss me like he hadn’t seen me for months. I loved it, along with far too much of the man actually doing it considering I’d only known him a month.

“I’m so sorry,” he apologised, brushing my hair out of my eyes. “How bad were they?”

“It was fine,” I reassured him. “I just have to be nice to you if I don’t want my balls fed to Holden’s stud Angus bull while they’re still attached. A terrifying thought if I let myself dwell on it too much.”

“Oh god,” he moaned. “I’m gonna kill him.”

I laughed and grabbed his arm before he could follow through. “Forget it. Besides—” I lifted up on my toes and pressed our lips together. “—I have zero intention of being anything other than very, very nice to you.” I palmed his dick through his jeans and squeezed. “So, I figure I’m safe.”

His eyes rolled back in his head and he thrust into my hand, adding in a strangled voice, “The kennel shed out back should be friend-free if we hurry.”

“No time for that.” Zach waggled his brows at us through the window.

“Fuck me,” Jules groaned under his breath.

“I heard that.” Zach smirked. “But Gil needs a hand on the barbecue and your name was volunteered.”

“Go on.” I gave Jules a shove toward the front door and then slapped his butt on the way. “We have all night.”

He grumbled over his shoulder, “If there’s anything left of my nerves after the Gordon Ramsey of the Mackenzie is done using me as his bitch.”

I laughed and gave him another shove.

About Jay:

Heart, humour and keeping it real.

Jay is a 2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Gay Romance and her book Off Balance was the 2021 New Zealand Romance Book of the Year.

She is a New Zealand author writing mm romance and romantic suspense, primarily set in New Zealand. She writes character driven romances with lots of humour, a good dose of reality and a splash of angst. She's travelled extensively, lived in many countries, and in a past life she was a critical care nurse, nurse educator and counsellor. Jay is owned by a huge Maine Coon cat and a gorgeous Cocker Spaniel

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