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

In the Book Spotlight: Empty Nests (Nested Hearts #1) by Ada Maria Soto



Empty Nests (Nested Hearts #1) by Ada Maria Soto
Release Date: June 12, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond


Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback


STRW Author BookSynopsis

Neither James nor Gabe has ever had a real relationship. They might make a connection if they can get past their differences—and their fears.

At age fourteen, James Maron decided to prove he wasn’t gay despite vast evidence to the contrary. Now at thirty-two, he’s getting ready to send his son to college and wondering what he’s supposed to do next. Outside his son, his life consists of an IT job he hates and watching telenovelas with the women in his apartment building.

Gabriel Juarez is the CFO of a technology giant. He has looks, charm, fantastic wealth, a workaholic personality, and a string of boyfriends who only stick around because he’s too busy to tell them to leave.

A bad laptop/projector interface causes James and Gabe’s paths to cross. Friends, family, and coworkers jump to match Gabe with a nice guy, and James with anyone. But are they too different? Everyone will have to tread very carefully to keep things from ending before they start.

Pages or Words: 68,835 words

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“So,” Dylan started as he scraped the last of the noodles from his plate. “Remember that conversation we were having about the new AP English teacher?”

“If you pull a piece of paper out of your pocket right now, I will never forgive you.”

Dylan grinned and pulled a tightly folded piece of paper from his pocket. “Saturday after next, if you want, you have a date.”

James was pretty sure teenagers were not supposed to be as hung-up on their father’s love life as Dylan was. “No. No, I do not.”

Dylan pushed over a printout from his school’s faculty webpage. There was a phone number handwritten at the bottom. “Thirty-five, no kids. He likes music.” Dylan had highlighted that line. “You like music, he likes music. He said he’d love to take you to see a band he likes.”

“Goddammit, Dylan! I do not need you setting me up with strangers.”

“He’s not a stranger, he’s the school’s AP English teacher, and I wouldn’t have to if you’d get out of the house once in a while. Seriously, Dad, I’m out of here in less than a year. I don’t want you moping around this place alone. I worry about you turning into a crazy old cat lady.”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Ada Maria Soto is a born and raised Californian, Mexican-American/WASP, currently living as an expat in New Zealand. She got her Bachelor’s degree in Theater Directing at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, which she attended in a fit of stubbornness. She got a Master’s degree in Film and TV Producing from the University of Auckland in New Zealand which she applied to on a manic whim. Nine years later she’s still in Auckland with a partner, kid, and mortgage.

She has dysgraphia and phonological dyslexia which can lead to some interesting typos.

She is a sports fan dedicated to the Oakland A’s, San Jose Sharks, Auckland Blues, USA Eagles, New Zealand All Blacks, New Zealand Black Caps, and the Chennai Super Kings.
Where to find the author:

Official Website: http://adamariasoto.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ada.m.soto.568
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AdaMariaSotoAuthor
Twitter: @adamariasoto
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+AdaSoto/posts
DSP Author Arcade: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/ada-maria-soto

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Both books of the series (one will not be out for a few months). Link and prizes to be provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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