A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Empty Nests (Nested Hearts #1) by Ada Maria Soto


Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Empty Nests coverThis is a sweet, slow burn romance between two men in their thirties, one a workaholic CFO of a tech company, and the other a man who’s been a father for more than half his life and has never enjoyed a relationship with a man, even though he’s always known he was gay.

Gabe Juarez is a gorgeous, Mexican-American, wealthy, and charming CFO who’s just been named most eligible bachelor for five years in a row. The problem is that he’s been out since he turned sixteen and no one seems willing to acknowledge he prefers men, or at least no one among the female vultures who salivate over him as potential husband material. But even if Gabe could find time in his busy schedule to devote to dating, the thought doesn’t really appeal to him, especially not after he was burned three years ago by a man who turned out to be the worst gold-digger of all.

When James Mason was fourteen he was caught kissing a boy, so he had sex with a girl in his class who said she was on the pill. Problem was she was only on it two days, so he found himself a father at fifteen. When he found out his girlfriend’s parents had arranged a shady adoption behind his back, he sued for custody and won. He managed to finish high school, parent Derek, work part time, go to a community college, and eventually take a position in the IT department at Berkley. He’s now the head of the tech support department and still working on a tight budget to pay the bills and save money for Derek’s college education.

When these two finally find time to get together, it’s sweet and simple, with just a few lunch dates at first, progressing to more intimate time together later. And when Gabe finds out James is a gay virgin, he’s willing to slow down as much as James needs. But can these two very different men really find a way to make a relationship work? Can Gabe in his high tech, jet-set world really settle down with James in his very simple, very plain lifestyle? And would Gabe want to take on Derek, James’s now seventeen-year-old son and fierce protector?

I loved this story not only for the story content but for the way it was written. The author clearly captured the social differences which impacted the dynamics between the MCs, as well as the loving and respectful father-son relationship between James and Derek. Gabe’s business partners and their families provided a great deal of unwanted advice to the workaholic bachelor, but their emotional support and concern for him came through loud and clear. The sweet, slow buildup of the romance, the even slower introduction of sexual experiences to the relationship, and the bond building between the men by the end of the story all made the story so much better than I had anticipated.

By the time I got to the end, I was fully invested in this couple and rooting for a happy ending. Unfortunately, the story is to be continued, so all I got was a HFN, but thankfully, it was that and not an angst-filled cliffhanger. I definitely plan to continue with their saga when the next book is released, and I certainly recommend this one to those who love slow burn M/M romances. Well-written, with engaging characters—both MCs and secondary— and a variety of social situations to which most of us can relate. Don’t miss your chance to read this one.

Cover Art by Paul Richmond features the back end view of two cars: the first a bright blue new model Tesla and the second a bright yellow old Volvo sporting bumper stickers: I love Little League; Baseball Dad; My Child is an Honor Roll Student; etc. These cars symbolize the MCs: the wealthy playboy Gabe Juarez, and the thirty-two-year-old single father of a teen, Paul Mason. The cars are the perfect representation of the differences between the two men featured in the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 214 pages
Published June 12th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
series Nested Hearts #1