Survival Instinct

Van Zant Siblings-Brian Book One

I admit that I put off reading Survival Instinct by Roxy Harte. Not because I wasn’t looking forward to reading it, but because I had a feeling that I was going to really enjoy it. I decided to save as one of my rewards, and make it part of my weekend reading. I’m pleased to say that not only did I enjoy this book; it’s earned a place on my keeper shelf.
Dr. Brian Van Zant is an archeologist who specializes in Native American studies. Three months ago, Brian discovered that his husband and twin brother were having an affair. To make matters worse, both his brother and husband are killed in a car accident almost immediately after Brian caught them together. Since their death, Brian has been holed up in his parents home, watching The Last of the Mohicans repeatedly, and refusing to get on with his life. Brian’s parents decide some tough love is in order and kick Brian out of their home. Angry and determined to get on with his life, Brian takes off across the country, but ends up in the mist of a snowstorm in Montana. When he comes across a moose in the middle of the road, Brian swerves to miss it, and crashes into a tree. He’s unharmed, but stranded in a snowstorm and he’s totally unprepared to survive in the harsh blizzard.  
Tobias Red Hawk is a ranger who’s destined to be a medicine man. When he comes across Brian’s crashed Jeep, he’s more than a little surprised how attracted he is to the nearly unconscious man. Hawk immediately knows Brian is suffering from hyperthermia, and acts quickly to save his life. Because of the snowstorm, Hawk and Brian end up being holed up in a room above a local diner, and lucky for both men, Hawk is able to get Brian’s body temperature under control and he saves Brian’s life.
Both men are unprepared for the attraction and intense feelings they have for one another. Like Brian, Hawk is suffering from a broken heart as well. To make matters worse, Hawk is still pretty much in the closet and Brian is not. Unable to keep their attraction and their budding emotional feelings they have for each other at bay, they soon fall into an affair which complicates things for both of them. When an amazing archeological find is discovered, Brian and Hawk are faced with some heavy decisions to make. Should they both take a chance at love again? Will Hawk come out of the closet so he can live with Brian out in the open? Will Brian get over the guilt of falling in love and getting on with his life so quickly after the death of his husband and twin brother? 
I really liked this book. I thought both Brian and Hawk were both interesting and likeable heroes.  I really liked the heavy attraction and intense connection they had between them. At first, I admit I did have a slight problem with Brian falling so quickly for Hawk so soon after the death of his husband, but because I thought both of them belonged together, I soon got over my hesitation about it. Plus, Brian and Hawk both talk about this and work though how quickly they fall for each other as the book progresses. It wasn’t a subject that was swept under the rug, and I appreciated that. I also would have liked to have learned more about Hawk’s role as the Medicine Man of his tribe. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of detail about that. 
One of the great things about this book is the storyline is very fast paced and the book reads very smoothly. There is also an interesting cast of characters that play a pretty big part of the story as it progresses. Survival Instinct definitely kept my interest, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting a glimpse in the lives of Hawk and Brian. I really hated to see it come to an end.
I want to give a word of caution to some readers. There is some rough sex, spanking and light bondage in this book. I DO NOT think it’s enough to offend those who aren’t into the BDSM themed books. There is definite attraction between the heroes and even though they liked their lovemaking a little rough, it was also loving and passionate too.
I really liked Ms. Harte’s style of writing. It’s nicely descriptive and the story flows quickly from the first to the last page.  Ms. Harte is a new author for me. I’m definitely going to look for more written by her in the future. I’m very glad that read this book, and I know I’ll enjoy re-reading it several times in the years to come.
Ms. Harte has a very interesting and sexy website. Check it out at:

Book Blurb for Survival Instinct

After discovering his husband was sleeping with his twin brother, museum curator Brian Van Zant's faced with another shocking loss. Both men are killed in a car accident, leaving him no answers, no closure. No chance to say, "I hate you," or "I love you," and not sure which he'd have said if given the chance. Now, months later, Brian still hasn’t put his life back together. Without a plan or a destination, only knowing he can’t face his lonely present until he frees himself from the past and starts over somewhere else, he runs away.

Tobias Red Hawk is a Park Ranger in Montana, where being out of the closet still seems like a dream. After saving the life of blatantly gay and thoroughly attractive Brian, he begins to question his conviction of staying secretly gay. But before he can face his own identity crisis, there is a mystery to be solved at the top of the Bitterroot mountain range and the answers may lie in the myths of his childhood.

When Hawk’s past returns to kill him, both men discover there’s nothing like facing death up close to make a man find his survival instinct.

Author's Note: This 2018 Edition has been revised and expanded, previously released in 2010


Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2010 4.50