5 stars adult - 18+ artists Beth Jumper Contemporary Friends to lovers Friends to Lovers Gay Geek/nerd/techie/gamer m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Standalone Teacher

Friends to Lovers: Trusting Tanner by Nicky James

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Maybe tomorrow it will be better…

Zander Baker has spent years forcing a smile onto his face to make the world believe he is a happy man. In reality, it’s a façade for the battered person he truly is. Living a life imprisoned in an abusive relationship, Zander doesn’t know how to break free. Ordinary enjoyments are not within his reach. Not only has he lost all his friends, but over the last seven years, he’s lost himself as well.
Tanner Mathews has recently returned to the city and needs to start life all over again. New job, new friends and a new relationship are top of his list. When he meets his niece’s new preschool teacher he is drawn in by his good looks and shy personality. Sadly, Zander is involved with someone else. Settling for friendship, Tanner soon realizes there is a lot more to Zander than what he shows the world. As their friendship struggles to grow, and details about Zander’s life come to the surface, Tanner finds himself unexpectedly falling in love. His heart aches for Zander and all he wants to do is help the man break free.
Can Tanner help Zander reclaim his life?
Will his feelings for his friend interfere with his intentions?
What happens if it all goes wrong?
Will love conquer all in the end?


Trusting Tanner is an emotional roller coaster in several ways. We are shown Tanner’s point of view, not wanting to break up an established couple, yet he slowly falls in love with the man. Zander’s point of view of knowing the relationship he’s in is toxic yet he wants Tanner’s friendship even with Tanner pushing to show him what’s wrong with his life.

The author does a fabulous job of laying out the story, showing the partner abuse, the ability to use escapism to cope, the frustration of close friends who can blatantly see what’s going on and do nothing but support him. All while building this love story between Tanner and Zander.

Although this could be a hard story for some to read, it ends in a HEA. And in the end we are shown how strong Zander really is.

5 of 5 stars


Purchased for review


One reply on “Friends to Lovers: Trusting Tanner by Nicky James”

Sounds like a fantastic read. Thank you for the review. Nicky James is a new author for me so definitely will be giving this a read.

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