Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Gabe D’Angelo has it all. Designer clothes, luxury cars, a cool confidence most would envy, and a never-ending supply of money—and men. When he arrived in Haven’s Cove to be there for his best friend, he never imagined he’d end up extending his stay indefinitely. Small town living isn’t so bad after all, and the views are magnificent—especially the view of a sexy, rugged blond. But when that mysterious, brooding man refuses all Gabe’s advances, he is forced to take a step back and truly look at the person he’s become.
Nate Black moved from Boston to Haven’s Cove for his family. He’s missed small town living and the simple, tranquil life that comes with it. What he doesn’t bargain for is the pushy, spoiled playboy who’s set his eyes on Nate as his next conquest. Knowing this man has the potential to crack the foundation of his quiet life, Nate will do everything he can to protect his safe, closed-off world.
Is one man worth loving? Is the other worth the sacrifice? Or is the love they’re searching for not just hard to get but completely out of reach?
After the first story (Hard to Let Go) in Haven’s Cove series where we met both men, I was curious to see where the author was going to take these men an their relationship. Now we get our answer in Hard to Get (Haven’s Cove #2). For starters, Nate Black is someone you like immediately and Gabe is that individual you don’t. At least for me. And that opener for this story increased that tenfold.
Gabe became that person who see’s others as an object to triumph over, to “win” and move on. When a reader such as me is already on the side of Nate, a character like Gabe is already in the losing position here as far as my heart and connections go. And he stayed that way for some time. It drew down my ability to invest in his redemption and my belief that he truly felt something for Nate and his daughter in such a short amount of time.
Even his friends in the story didn’t believe him (via the author). Trust me that didn’t help either when trying to build the case that the man had an unrevealed character he has yet to show people. Or that a huge change of heart and ways was coming. As it was.
What really makes this story, and in fact, the entire series work, is that Jaclyn Quinn can write wonderful characterizations. So in effect, you are mad at the people she’s created that feel so believable for behaving in such an abominable manner and not the writer. Yes, you don’t like their actions but you believe in their story. So great job there.
The rest of the romance that follows the growth of Gabe’s character and Nate’s ability to learn to trust in Gabe. While the pace feels sweet and fast, especially when a child is involved, it’s still comes across as real. As does their friends and family. Mothers push when not wanted, although I found her actions surprising again when there is a child involved. I won’t even begin to discuss Gabe’s family and father.
The Haven’s Cove series has become a romantic gem of stories that started with Hard to Let Go and now with Hard to Get. I already see the next couple on the horizon and can’t wait for their story as well. I don’t really consider this a standalone because it’s great to have the background and foundation work of the first novel before reading this one. Read them both in order. I highly recommend them if you’re a lover of contemporary romance.
Cover art: Cate Ashwood Designs does a very good job of capturing both characters.
Published April 19th 2018 by self-published (first published April 17th 2018)
Original TitleHard to Get: A Haven’s Cove Novel
Series Haven’s Cove :