“Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on and never letting go... Love is work, but most of all, Love is realizing that every hour, every minute and every second was worth it because you did it together.” ~ mediawebapps.com
'Lord of a Thousand Steps' by Tara Lain begins three years after Ian is introduced in a previous book in the series. Ian and Rico have been together for three years. Ian is convinced that Rico is “the one”, but when Rico goes back to Mexico on family business, his communication with Ian becomes infrequent at best, making Ian doubt Rico's commitment and his feelings for him.
Ian is studying architecture in college and interns for a prestigious firm. He's quite talented and grabs the attention of an important client. She has a new project coming up that Braden Lord, CEO of the company, will be working on and, after meeting Ian, insists that Ian be allowed to work with him. Although Ian is flattered and honored to be working with Braden, it's also quite intimidating. Ian is extremely attracted to Braden, but there are so many ways that that's not a good idea. For one, even though his boyfriend, Rico, seems to have deserted him, he would never cheat. Another reason is that Braden is much older and is in the process of a messy divorce while trying to gain full custody of his children. Even so, Ian starts to notice signs that Braden seems to be interested in him as well.
On a trip to the beach, Ian brings his cat, Anderson, with him. Braden and his children, JoJo and Mireille, just happen to be there and Mireille falls in love with Anderson. They all get along so famously that Braden invites Ian and, of course, Anderson, to visit. This is all well and good, but Ian still can't forget his place. Braden has just come out as gay and has no idea how to act. Since Ian is the only gay man he's close to, they have this unreal conversation about what to expect from the gay scene, such as dating, safe sex, etc. Braden wants to explore being gay, but is wary of doing anything that his wife could use against him in court. Between working together and their frequent 'cat visitations', Braden and Ian become close. The children adore Ian as well. After Ian's relationship with Rico ends, he feels free to approach Braden. Ian decides that neither of them should consider a serious relationship since he's just gotten out of a bad one and Braden has never been in a relationship with a man. He convinces Braden that it would be better if they are just f*ck buddies instead of becoming serious. Although it's not exactly what Braden wants, he reluctantly agrees. They attempt to be discreet, but one night, Jo-Jo catches Ian and Braden kissing. Jo-Jo is furious, and feels that Ian has betrayed their friendship. He flies into a rage and calls their mother to come get them, throwing everything into chaos, especially any relationship that Ian and Braden could have had.
Tara has created a beautiful love story between two fantastic men who love each other and fight to be together. One of my favorite elements that has become Tara's trademark is breaking down stereotypes. Instead of giving Braden all the power and expertise because he is older, she gave Ian, the younger of the two, wisdom beyond his years and more sexual experience. Fans of the series will love this sequel and will enjoy visiting with Jim, Ken, Billy and Shaz. Thanks, Tara, for a memorable tale that reminds us that every journey, no matter how long, begins with that first step.