Hagen Wylie has it all figured out. He’s going to live in his hometown, be everybody’s friend, explore new relationships, and rebuild his life after the horrors of war. No muss, no fuss is the plan. He’s well on his way—until he finds out his first love has come home too. Hagen says it’s no big deal, but a chance encounter with Mitch Thayer’s two cute sons puts him directly in the path of the only guy he’s never gotten out of his head.
Mitch returned for three reasons: to raise his sons where he grew up, to move his furniture business and encourage it to thrive, and to win Hagen back. Years away made it perfectly clear the young man he loved in high school is the only one for him. The problem? He left town and they have not talked since.
If Hagen’s going to trust him again, Mitch needs to show him how he’s grown up and isn’t going to let go. They could have a new chance at love… but Hagen is insistent he’s not reviving a relationship with Mitch. Then again, you never know.
(Book Reviewed here Previously)
Well, hell. You all know I’m a giant Mary Calmes fan and it pains me deeply to say – this book wasn’t for me. It can happen, I know, and I’m sure others will still love this to pieces because it’s Mary and she is fabulous after all, but this wasn’t one of my favorites.
Mary’s books are strongly character driven (for the most part) and as such you really have to love the characters to love the story. She’s done an excellent job of creating two unique characters and I really feel like I have a pretty good grasp of Hagen and where he’s at. I didn’t feel like I understood or knew Mitch as well, and that is part of my problem.
Hagen and his involvement with Ash gets a lot of page time and this relationship and how Hagen handles it didn’t sit well with me. I was kind of rooting for them to be the couple that “makes it” more than Mitch and Hagen. Ash seems infinitely redeemable and I felt like I knew him better than I knew Mitch so I was rooting for him 😉
While I wouldn’t call it cheating, I didn’t like that Hagen seemed to leave Ash hanging at the last minute – though I know he claims he wasn’t monogamous right from the start and I know that Ash was involved with others we don’t know about at the same time. I wanted their relationship to have ended way before Hagen gets re-involved with Mitch.
I never felt a connection to Mitch. Mary does a great job of showing the hurt he causes Hagen and how tough it is for Hagen to rally and move on – but I didn’t understand fully WHY Mitch acted the way he did – his family didn’t seem to care and I wasn’t really buying the whole “pro football” thing without more of an explanation.
Mitch hurt so many people and didn’t do nearly enough groveling to earn his way back into Hagen’s life – IMHO.
I worried for Mitch’s kids and wanted to know more about their mother and what was going on there. It made my heart hurt to think of them uprooted every 6 months.
The fact that Ash and Hagen have more on page times of intimacy (if not the full act) also felt wrong. I needed more time with Hagen and Mitch working things out to really pull for them as a couple.
So… all in all – this just didn’t fit my tastes in romance. It’s a blip and I’m sure others will love this – but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
(The cover is amazing though!!!)
2.75 (rounded to 3) of 5 stars
Greg is such a delight to listen to. He can add nuance and depth and really make a great story better or even add to a story that might need some help. In this case I think he helps to give this story a bit more substance – which for me helped it out.
I really enjoy his tone and voice quality and think this is an excellent way to enjoy this story.
5 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review