New Release Reviews ~ Waiting for Ru (Unfinished Business Book 4) by Barbara Elsborg

Ruari Byrne may not have had an easy life, but now he’s determined to live in the present, not his past. Trouble is, it’s hard to be independent when you’ve no money and no qualifications. All Ru knows is horses, and when he finds out that his beloved Joni and Cookie are off to auction, his heart is in his throat. How can he protect them if he can’t even look after himself?

Jasim bin Rajhi hadn’t intended to buy two working mares; the horses in his rarefied life are expensive polo ponies, but there’s something that intrigues him about the guileless young man who’s so concerned for their welfare. They might be worlds apart in every way, but Jasim doesn’t want this to be the last time he sees Ru. It can’t be, because Ru might just be the one he’s been waiting for.

Reunited at Jasim’s polo grounds, the pair bond over lives lived in darkness and secrecy. But there’s a truth about Jasim that should make Ru bolt like his beloved horses. Jasim knows he should let Ru go for his own safety, and yet it feels like happiness might be within their grasp. Can they overcome their pasts to trust in a future, or will Jasim’s obligations forever have a hold on him?

Warning: contains references to past abuse and paid-for sex (In a different book), physical violence and abduction. There is one oblique reference to suicide. But no horses were seriously harmed in the making of this tale 🙂

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5 Grand Stars!!!

Waiting for Ru is book 4 in the Unfinished Business series, and it features Ru, who is Ink’s brother (from A Long Way Back, book 2 in the series), and Jasim, a Saudi Arabian prince and polo player. While it could be read as a standalone, you definitely need to read the prior books, they’re amazing and you’ll be missing out if you don’t.

Ru’s backstory is heartbreaking, and yet, he’s determined to do what he needs to do to continue with his life. Finding a job proves harder than he expected, but a chance meeting with Jasim changes his life for good.

Ru is hardworking, witty, strong, and resilient. Jasim is double his age, closeted (with good reason), and while he doesn’t consider himself a good man, he tries to help Ru reach his full potential. This is a bit of a slow burn, but it works perfectly for them, and the chemistry between them is just sizzling.

I really liked getting to know more about polo, and everything that goes into the game, and the care of the horses. I liked most of Ru’s coworkers, with one notable exception… Mike, who I hated with the fire of a thousand suns. And maybe, his girlfriend a little, too. In fact, if there was one thing I would’ve liked to see more of was his comeuppance, because the guy deserved it.

Leigh and Newt were amazing and I loved catching up with Ink and Tay.

Barbara Elsborg did such a fantastic job with this book. It was engaging, fun, steamy, angsty, sweet, and absolutely riveting. While The Making of Jonty Bloom (and Jonty!) remains my favorite book in the series, Waiting for Ru is a very close second. Highly recommendable!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***


~ * ~ Annies Review ~ * ~

4.5 Stars
Waiting for Ru is such a unique story. This hurt-comfort romance is a well of emotion from the characters’ pasts, their present individual circumstances, and the details surrounding Ru and Jasim’s relationship. Though there are a myriad of different conflicts or issues the men work through, it all develops beautifully, culminating in a satisfying and sweet resolution.
As with the other titles in the Unfinished Business series, Waiting for Ru can technically work as a standalone. There are cameos from previous couples, but this book follows an entirely new couple and provides a complete story. That said, there are books both within and separate from the series that provide a more thorough account of Jasim and Ru’s pasts, so if you are one who doesn’t like spoilers or reading out of order, it may be best to follow the suggested order listed by the author. I happened to read this title without knowing the full backstories for either character and still thoroughly enjoyed it.
From the start, I was drawn to Ru’s resilient spirit as well as his knowledge and absolute devotion to his semi-tamed crow and the horses under his care. His heart is so very pure that I couldn’t help but want the world for him. I loved the attention to detail in Waiting for Ru, specifically in regards to horse behavior, horsemanship, and polo. While I know a fair bit about horses, I knew very little about the sport of polo but the book certainly brings it to life.

Although Ru’s energy, approach, and love drew me in, I also really liked Jasim’s quiet and stoic personality. Ru and Jasim make great counterpoints to one another, lending support and strength to the other as necessary. I really liked watching their gentle and sweet relationship bloom over the course of the story.

With great writing, smooth flow and transitions, a unique setting, and wonderful characters, Waiting for Ru is an easy recommendation.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***