Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rory Donovan’s life is a hot mess. His marriage is failing and he’s in intensive psychotherapy, working through the unfortunate side effects of memories from a childhood trauma. The only thing good in his life right now is his job—teaching photography to gifted high school students.
Harbor Patrol officer Bennett Foster is co-parenting his teenage daughter with his high school best friend Jessie. When he meets Addison’s teacher and realizes they’ve met before, he can’t get the sexy stranger out of his head.
Striking up a sexual-tension-filled friendship, together they must help an angsty teenager deal with a dying friend. Bennett must keep his little family from falling apart while Rory struggles to come to terms with his new reality. Somewhere along the way, most unexpectedly…love happens.
I really like J.K. Hogan’s writing. I like the realness to it, I like the difficulties she brings, I like the tragedy surrounding her characters, and I like that someone out there in the world is going through this or went through it. I knew she was working on a book three for the series, but there was next to nothing clue wise on whose book it will me.
Goodness she gave us sweet Rory from book one. You know Rory, the one whose wedding to Maia brought the entire crew together. Yeah him, who introduced Justice & Nic and Rich & Paddy. Straight Rory, well folks he isn’t so straight. He’s definitely on his No labels kick this book. This book was way heavier then the other two. It dealt with some soul-wrenching discussions about some of the characters past. I think Rory’s situation is the first I read about in m/m books, and I loved the way the author went about it. I felt like her information on his past was spot on. It was nicely done, as well as the clinical aspect was done well. I loved Rory’s relationship with his therapist. I know each person is different, but I think he was finally able to be himself with the understanding and help from his doctor.
We saw some familiar faces, and I’m really happy Rory was able to have that support he needed. Bennett was great; I liked him as a character. I wish we would have gotten some of his back-story. While his issues weren’t heavily dictated, I felt like he was closed off majority of the story. I don’t know if he wasn’t opening up because of a past relationship or because that’s who he was.
Why not 5 star rating then? Well certain story lines I did not particularly care far. The whole triangle with Rory, Maia and her crazy brother. I did not really find that believable. I mean it could happen, and here is where I’m at. It was a point made in the story about Rory and perceptions. He’s written as this solid big guy 6’3 or 6’4, and he allows someone to get the jump on him. I’m having a hard time believing that he couldn’t take action or stand up for himself. I guess because book 1 Rory was totally different. While he wasn’t a main character his presence was very big. So I’m having a hard time as seeing him as a victim. That’s not the author’s fault, and that’s totally my own issue. I can’t wait to see if we get some continuation on the series. So many people have been introduced, and I’d like to see John Michael get his story. Can’t wait for more from this author.
Cover Art by J.K.Hogan, did a great job with the cover. Like the cameras as an added bonus, its something that Rory is very passionate about.