Rating: 3 stars out of 5
There are two sides to every story, even those buried in the past.
When Sam spots the hot guy moving in next door, he’s all for going round to introduce himself. That soon changes when it turns out his new neighbour is Charles Whitmore, an old school acquaintance. Sam didn’t like him back then, for good reason, and fifteen years haven’t altered that.
Splitting up from his long-term boyfriend means a move across the city for Charlie. As luck would have it, his immediate neighbour is a guy he went to school with, Sam Gellar. While Sam is less than welcoming, his best mate is more than happy to invite Charlie into their social circle. Whatever problem Sam has with him, Charlie resolves to get to the bottom of it because, frosty beginnings aside, Charlie likes him.
With Christmas just around the corner, fate pushes them together, and they get on much better than they ever did at school. Despite his efforts not to, Sam develops feelings for Charlie, and they appear to be reciprocated. If Sam wants to take things further, he needs to either confront Charlie about their past—a past Charlie seems to have forgotten entirely—or let it go and move on. Sam knows deep down that he can’t let it go, but can’t find the right time to bring it up either.
One of my favorite things to read is the enemies to lovers and second chance stories, so I was excited for this one. Sam takes notice (through the window) of the hot new guy moving in next door. Sam’s best friend, Dave, is also watching and swears the man looks familiar. Sam is making plans to maybe go say hello when Dave figures out who the man is. “Wanker Whitmore. His new hot neighbor was the one person he’d hated at school.” Doesn’t it figure? Fifteen years ago, Charles Whitmore beat up Sam’s then best friend at school, Nigel. To add insult to injury, Charles also has a cat, something Sam abhors. That’s it, this is going to be a nightmare.
For his part, Charles has just broken up with someone he cared about and who cared for him. “Even though their split had been about as amicable as it could be, it still hurt.” They are still friends and Charles is going to miss him. He’s also now across town from his ex, Tim, and their friends. Charlie is hurting a bit. When he runs into Dave and Sam, he doesn’t remember them from school but he’s happy to have someone to talk to. Dave is polite, Charlie is not.
While they get to know each other again and Sam thaws, sort of, I liked the interaction. What kept it from being higher for me was Sam hanging on to this grudge for FIFTEEN YEARS without ever asking Charlie for his side. The fact that Nigel turned out to be a total jerk doesn’t even weigh in with Sam. I didn’t appreciate that at all.
Sam has some concerns about Charlie and I was glad to see not only does Dave validate them but urges Sam to talk about them with Charlie. Even better, Sam does. Communication here was good and they acted like adults.
It’s a very low angst story with some likeable, if a little bland, characters. It didn’t wow me like I had hoped but it was an easy, quick read.
Cover design with ornaments and Sam, fit the bill pretty well.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 147 pages
Published November 25th 2018
Edition Language English