Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5:
Hutch Crowley is well-liked in the small resort town of Mangrove—he’s got friends in his new neighbors, he’s the owner of the town grocery, and he’s building a community center—but he’s still unlucky at love. Every man he’s attracted to is either taken or simply not interested, including his best friend, Mike Rojas.
When Mike came to Mangrove two years ago, Hutch gave him a job and a place to stay in his guesthouse, where Mike has remained ever since. Despite the rumors circulating about them, Hutch knows Mike is straight and looking for the right woman. But his friends disagree, and after some hints to the contrary, even Hutch finally has to admit that maybe the rest of the town sees something he’s been missing. If Hutch wants to spend each sultry sunset with the man of his dreams, it might be time to figure out what’s going on with his best friend’s heart.
This was a sweet gay-for-you story in the world of the friends we met in “Blue Days” and “Quiet Nights”. Hutch Crowley, a businessman and town leader, was the guy dating Coz in “Quiet Nights” when Kelly finally realized he had to act quickly or Coz would be gone. It’s nice to see that Hutch got his own story.
It takes Hutch a while to realize that the reason he’s so upset at seeing the parade of women tiptoeing the walk of shame away from his guest house at dawn each morning is that he’s jealous of them. His guest house is occupied by Mike Rojas, his best friend and the co-manager of Heath’s grocery store. Mike is a widower who came to Mangrove two years ago after wandering the country in a state of restlessness when his wife died.
Finally ready to move on with his life, he’s looking better, and obviously feeling better as evidenced by the increase in his dating. Heath can’t quite cope with his new feelings for Mike, but believes he’s hiding them well. However, all of their friends are just wondering when they are going to see the light. It’s obvious to them that these guys care for each other, but it isn’t until Heath lands in jail that the situation comes to a head.
This story was too short to form a deep attachment to the characters and to build up the sexual tension. However, it was sweet and a good pick-me-up for those days when you need to feel good. A few new characters were introduced in this story as well, and I’ll be surprised if we don’t see Mike’s new neighbor, Essien, in his own story someday soon.
I’d recommend this to fans of Mary Calmes, those who like a GFY short story to brighten their day, and to all lovers of M/M romance. You can never go wrong with a little Mary Calmes in your life.
Cover Art by Reese Dante is a photo of a man standing alone on a beach at sunset— a gloriously, beautiful sunset. This is one of the most attractive covers I’ve seen this year.
ebook, 62 pages
Published May 15th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
seriesMangrove Stories #3
Mangrove Series Stories include:
- Blue Days (Mangrove Stories, #1)
- Quiet Nights (Mangrove Stories, #2)
- Sultry Sunset (Mangrove Stories #3)