Rating: 4 stars out of 5
While Xander Ekman’s dream of becoming a successful artist has come true, his love life has gone from bad to worse. Sick of the endless string of one-night-stands, he accepts the challenge when his best friend, Erik, bets him that he can’t be celibate for a month. Now all he needs is a reminder to keep his distance in the heat of the moment.
Troy Moriarty doesn’t have time for love. He’s too busy trying to keep his recently opened tattoo parlour afloat. Besides, ever since the man who was supposed to be his business partner abandoned him to run the shop on his own, he has a hard time trusting others.
When Xander turns to Troy for a tattoo that will remind him to be patient, the attraction is instant. But faced with Xander’s month of celibacy, Troy’s trust issues, and a nemesis lurking in the background, their relationship may be doomed before it has a chance to begin.
Patience (Dublin Virtues #1) by Helena Stone represents a new story, new series and a new author for me. After finishing Patience, I considered it a win in all three categories. Set in the city of Dublin, a place I dearly love (and captured here pretty well, especially the climate), we meet Xander an artist whose habit of one night stands has left him feeling empty and used. Enter his old friend and a bet. One month of abstinence.
I thought the author did a terrific job of making me feel empathetic towards Xander immediately. Under Erik’s questioning, Xander starts to crumble, admitting to the feelings and walls he’s built up to hide the emptiness inside. Seeing Xander’s pain and understanding the man brings us so close to him at the very beginning. We’re there, liking him and rooting for his HEA.
When Troy is introduced, its so beautifully done, like the author quietly dropping a puzzle piece in place. There’s linking threads between them, of course, from major to slim, which are revealed to us and them over the course of the story. Troy is as immensely likable and real as is Xander, and equally broken in the same parts of his heart. Biggest issue? Trust of course, and communication about the important things. How true to life and how sadly realistic.
The author must have a real love of symmetry for she has given each man a best friend here that acts as their support, confidant, and all around ‘kick in the pants’ when needed. I fell in love with both of them as well, each as different as can be and, fingers crossed I’m hoping that the next book or books in the series revolves around them.
I had a couple of small issues one. One was that Xander kept making a big deal over his anger issues but quite frankly we never saw any that seemed out of control or over the top. Everyone gets angry and he was able to pull back and deal each time. So either it should have been brought more fully into the story or really not made an issue of at all.
Also I felt the ending was a little rushed. One bit left us hanging, although I suppose that was for the books to come. Still it made me wonder because everything else in this terrific story is so well supported and all the foundations so lovingly laid out. But that’s it. I loved this story.
I will of course be anxiously awaiting the next story in the series. I can’t wait to see where the author takes us and who the story will be about.
My one last little nod to Dublin and Ireland. Surely another symbol other than a kanji character could have been used. Maybe a celtic rune perhaps? Just a thought.
Cover art by Emmy Ellis is ok but nothing that shouts storyline to me.
ebook, 1st edition, 170 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Pride Publishing
SeriesDublin Virtues #1