Rating: 4 stars out of 5
There’s nothing like a near death car accident to open your eyes. Otto Proulx decides surviving was a sign; he’s being given a second chance to claim the life he wants to live. For the past few years he’s been hiding in the shadows, vague texts from a troubled ex-partner keep him at home along with his general lack of luck in the romance department. This is his last chance, he’s certain, this time he’ll meet the man for him, the one he’s sure is out there somewhere.
Greg Trainor runs a specialty kite shop and helps his friends out when they ask. That’s the kind of guy he is, if somebody needs something, they call on Greg. He’s a big guy and no genius, but he’s dependable. So…yeah, when he sees a car precariously perched on the side of the road, he stops to help out; it’s what he does.
One night of passion leads to…several more and suddenly both men are searching around to define what they have together. Neither wants to scare the other off and neither wants to ask for more. Will the two men be able to set aside their fears and create a family together, trusting the elements are in their favor?
Trusting the Elements by Elle Keaton is the first in her new Never Too Late series and its a total charmer. As the first novel in her series, Keaton spends time building her new universe, introducing us to the seaside town of Westfort, a place of broken industrial dreams that’s trying to rebrand itself and stay alive. Many of the characters you meet are trying to help Westfort in it’s rebranding efforts, starting with the kind and endearing Greg Trainor. Greg fled to Westfort, a mess of family induced emotional pain, physical wounds, and in need of a new path in life. He found it in a Kite Shop and locals who soon became his friends and family.
As Keaton builds a picture of a waning fishing/lumber town slowly turning into a tourist destination, from a local Great Blue Heron full of quirks to a bar with a saloon owner we need to get to know better, the reader feels Westfort come alive. Another character as piquant and needy as all its residents. Truly I would have boarded the ferry myself if I could have and headed over.
After Westfort, Keaton fills her story with characters we love to connect with. From the gentle dyslexic Greg, still haunted by his family’s rejection, to the utterly charming Otto, who’s pull with people is almost magnetic yet fights his own personal battle with an ex, the author has created people for her story that we enjoy spending time with and root for in their romance. Otto and Grey have a chemistry that makes the short timetable of their relationship work! It’s adult, sexy, and clearly these two are meant to be together. Second chances indeed. Plus we get kittens! And Amy.
There are two side threads for each man. For Greg, it’s the resolution of the issues he has with his family, sister and her husband. I enjoyed this aspect of the story and thought it worked well, especially Otto’s “take charge gently” attitude. It felt right and fit in with the whole atmosphere of the story.
Less successful imo was Otto’s stalker ex and how that all played out. That was far too serious theme (as the author notes) and I don’t think it meshed with the overall tone of the rest of the story, especially the resolution. Because in my fact finding, people with those traits don’t simply “let it alone:”. Then again this is a series. But that is the only storyline that struck me as somewhat less well developed. From the character of the ex to the denouement.
What I adored, apart from the kites too? All the characters waiting for their partners. Jake, Dante, and others. I can’t wait to see who gets the next story. I will be waiting for it’s release and get reacquainted with everyone I met here.
Love second chance at happiness stories? Pick up Trusting the Elements (Never Too Late #1) by Elle Keaton. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Cover art: Cate Ashwood. Its ok but where are the kites? He’s cute and all but I’d like to have something more relevant to the story on the cover.
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 200 pages
Published July 25th 2019
SeriesNever Too Late #1