Rating: 5 stars out of 5
I couldn’t begin to make sense of Jake Westley’s unexpected reappearance after twelve years. It was like a cameo appearance in the sitcom of life, I thought. But why him? Why now? On television, those comebacks were made for a reason. Real life made no fucking sense.
Brandon Good is cruising through life. He’s the owner of a successful interior design store, has great friends, and yeah, maybe he’s boyfriendless, but that will all work itself out. Except fate has a twisted way of making things work. Like having Brandon be tricked into dog sitting an old lab with health issues, and then finding out that the owner of the charming dog is none other than a flash from his past, and a marker of things that will never be.
Their friendship isn’t intentional, but Mack, that old lab that Brandon finds himself desperately falling for, draws them together. Brandon doesn’t understand the game fate is playing with him, but maybe there is such a thing as second chances.
I’d never felt smaller or more aware of the fragility of the human condition than I did in that moment. Life was short. It was special. It certainly was not to be wasted. Pride and fear were weaknesses of the human condition. I was suddenly more determined than ever to set them aside and be someone better, stronger, and a fuck of a lot braver.
Dearest Lane Hayes,
You should know that you made me smile and laugh, and toward the end, in the most unexpected of ways, you completely wrecked me. But I’m okay with that.
So, here’s the thing. There are a few things in this world that I am a complete sucker for, and one of them is, and will always be, dogs. Mack added a whole other dimension to this book that otherwise would’ve been a nice novel of second chances. With him, everything felt so much deeper to me. Now that might sound crazy, but I’ve never hidden my extensive love for all things furry.
One thing that I really appreciated about this book is the thought that was put into where Brandon and Jake were in their lives. This wasn’t a second chance for the sake of having one, but it seemed like the author thought about the timing of it all, and made things fall into place. It wasn’t just about moving forward with a new chapter of their lives, but it was also about letting go and moving on. The past wasn’t simply forgotten or pushed away like a dangling piece of the plot, it was handled with grace.
Jake and Brandon were more than just good together, it felt like they were truly meant for each other – made only for the other. It’s hard to make a reader feel that, but I did.
As for the side characters, they were great, just as they were in the first book. They didn’t take over the story, but they added to this one. One thing I can say is that I would’ve liked to see more of Nate and how he came to feel about Brandon and Jake. He seemed like such an important character to Jake, but we didn’t really get to see the growth there, and that made me a bit disappointed.
And Mack, back to Mack, because really, I can’t help myself. A year ago in May I lost my baby girl (dog). When the author explained the process of Mack slowing down, of life wearing on him, and then the fear that Brandon felt witnessing it – it felt so real, because it is. That is so true to how it feels to watch an animal you love age and know you can’t do anything to slow it down. Now, my other dog is getting older, and he’s much larger. I see that he’s slower getting up, and the worry consumes me some days. The author did a beautiful job of showing that, but also the acceptance that you really have to come to in that situation, and making the best of the time you have.
Lane Hayes is quickly becoming a favorite, and I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Alex have a story, or any other character she wants to give us. This was a really great book, and I’m grateful for experiencing it.
The cover art by Aaron Anderson is very pretty. I appreciate the color palette, as it fits the feeling of the story and flows very well together. Having the dog in the background is perfect, and while I’m not too sure about the random naked chest thrown in there, I can’t really complain. In general, a nice cover.
ebook, 220 pages
Published February 6th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original titleThe Wrong Man
seriesRight and Wrong #2