Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Doran Callaghan is paying the ultimate price for his gambling addiction—jail, probation, and a reintegration program that lands him in the town of Bluewater Bay, working part time for the tourist bureau. Most of his work is behind the scenes working on their website, newsletter, and brochures. The office is only open for a few hours each weekend, so he and his coworker have a lot of flexibility in how they schedule the rest of their work week, but Doran manages to make sure he’s there every Sunday at noon because that’s when the gorgeous park ranger, Xavier Wagner, steps into the mini-market across the street. Every Sunday, like clockwork, the truck pulls up and out steps tall, dark, and handsome. Doran has to meet him. He just has to. So he scrapes together enough change to go across the street when the ranger is there. Unfortunately, his first impression—that of a tongue-tied kid—isn’t the best impression to leave on the man of his dreams.
Xavier Mayne doesn’t know what it is about the blond, good-looking kid, but he knows he’s attracted, and since he hasn’t felt that way in quite a while, the next time he sees him, he acts on that attraction and invites the young man out to eat. What they discover is that Doran has a submissive side, and Xavier has a strong compulsion to take charge. But he’s afraid that Doran just doesn’t know how to say no, and nothing about his behavior so far has shaken that belief.
Doran is afraid to share his history with Xavier because once he gets to know the big man, he’s hooked and he’s afraid Xavier will shun him if he knows the truth. He feels safe and secure with him and he loves the feelings he has when Xavier is near. But when they start to act on those feelings, Doran fails to make Xavier believe he can be trusted. Xavier has firm beliefs about truth and trust, and Doran is simply not living up to them. When a miscommunication sends Doran running to a gambling site, they nearly miss their chance at happiness. But when the loan shark Doran knew in the past shows up, it’s Xavier he turns to, and Xavier who is the only person Doran can truly trust.
I really enjoyed this story. It can definitely be read as a standalone since the only thing it has in common with the other stories in the series is the setting. It was emotionally compelling to watch Doran as he struggled with consequences of his life choices, and he finally accepted responsibility for his own actions. And it was equally compelling to watch Xavier as he came to terms with who he is as a gay man, a lover, and a potential Dom. The scene where the two declared their love for each other was completely unexpected and really terrific. Their love and their laughter expressed the joy to be found when one finds the other half of one’s soul.
This was my first story by this author, but it won’t be my last. I recommend this one to lovers of M/M romance, especially those who like an age-gap, early stage D/s relationship, angst, and those who simply can’t get enough of Bluewater Bay.
Cover Art by LC Chase beautifully depicts the two MCs wearing their cold weather gear and standing against a backdrop of gorgeous Mount Olympus in Washington State.
Sales Links: Riptide Publishing – All Romance (ARe) – Amazon Buy It Here [other sales links to come]
ebook, 221 pages
Expected publication: August 17th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
original titleWhen to Hold Them
series Bluewater Bay #9
Bluewater Bay Universe….
Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.
Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield, Aleksandr Voinov, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, and Jaime Samms. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.
Books in this Universe include with links to our reviews:
Starstruck (Bluewater Bay #1) by L.A. Witt
There’s Something About Ari (Bluewater Bay #2) by L.B. Gregg
Hell on Wheels (Bluewater Bay #3) by Z.A. Maxfield
Lone Wolf (Bluewater Bay #4) by Aleksandr Voinov
The Burnt Toast B&B (Bluewater Bay #5) by Heidi Belleau & Rachel Haimowitz
Lights, Camera, Cupid (A Bluewater Bay Valentine’s Day Anthology; Bluewater Bay #6)
Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay, #7) by Anne Tenino
The Deep of the Sound (Bluewater Bay, #8) by Amy Lane – release date of June 15, 2015
When to Hold Them (Bluewater Bay, #9) by G.B. Gordon – release date of August 17, 2015
Christmas Comes to Bluewater Bay (The Bluewater Bay Series) by Deanna Edens Oct 2013 -charity story with proceeds going to the Michigan Humane Society (F/F)