Rating: 5 stars out of 5
In Prospect Harbor, Maine, lobsterman Harper Cook has always loved the sea. He and his two brothers work the harbor waters, in a fishing village of one thousand where everybody knows everybody else’s business and nobody wants to be different.
When it’s time for the annual Men of Maine pinup calendar, Harper’s brothers eagerly volunteer him. Harper isn’t thrilled to bare it all to raise money for an elementary school playground—until he meets out-and-proud Los Angeles out-a-statah Sean Blackburn: the highly available first-grade teacher with Hollywood heartthrob looks.
Harper has no desire to ever stand out from the crowd, but Sean persists and earns Harper’s friendship. Through Sean, Harper opens up to new possibilities. Things get steamy, but Harper still protects his heart. Though the right pressure in the right place might crack even a loner lobsterman out of his shell.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
I flat out adored this story. The Unlikely Prospect (States of Love) by Lex Chase just blew me away, from the manner in which Chase got inside the character of lobsterman Harper Cook, introverted, gay and an amazing gift of a person just waiting for the right man to understand and appreciate him. From his halting Maine speech, which could sound cliche’ but doesn’t, to his boisterous brothers who only want the best for him, Harper strides off his boat and into our hearts almost from the first introduction. And from there, Chase proceeds to peel back even more layers to reveal someone with a vivid imagination who writes stories and has a bravery to match that of the sea he loves. Harper just continues to grow throughout this story until he’s this quiet giant of a man.
While Sean Blackburn near quite rises to the level (in my mind) that Harper does as far as character build, he’s still marvelous and a terrific complement to the quiet lobsterman. He too has a backstory with enough depth to give him the layers needed to make him the right man for Harper. His strengths and needs fill the holes in Harper. Chase has made that so clear, not only to the reader but to Harper’s brothers as well. Its fun to watch the maneuverings and family dynamics here. Add in this mix an engaging teacher with a thing for a certain Mr. December and it turns into one of the most heartwarming stories I’ve enjoyed in a while.
And that calendar shoot? A sexy and fun scene all its own. It was the start of their relationship, a place where boldness and surprise are key elements. Loved that too! Harper and Sean’s developing romance contains its own beautiful twists and turns that made this story all the more enjoyable.
I fell so in love with Harper and Sean that I wouldn’t mind a sequel to see what happens next. But if that never happens, I’m thrilled with their story here. Want a story to fill your heart with romance and love? Grab up The Unlikely Prospect (States of Love) by Lex Chase. Its one I highly recommend.
Cover art by Reese Dante is as perfect as the book. From the characters to the boat, its superb.
ebook, 126 pages
Expected publication: December 7th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634778405 (ISBN13: 9781634778404)
SeriesStates of Love settingMaine (United States)