College professor James Richards is in a rut and feeling his age. He moved to northern California to escape heartbreak and humiliation, but so far the only good thing to happen to him has been his Boston terrier, Marlowe.
Then James’s toughest student sets him up with her best friend. Rafael Ochoa is worlds apart from James—chronologically, culturally, and philosophically—but he’s also beautiful, kind, and a shot of adrenaline to James’s not-quite-middle-aged heart. Together, the two of them forge a bridge between James’s East Coast sensibilities and Rafael’s West Coast casualness, but can their meeting of the hearts survive James’s lack of faith in happy-ever-after?
This is the prequel to You Can’t Make an Omelet from the DSP’s Halloween Howl Series.
James has run from Maine because he got worked over spectacularly by his ex. He now works as a tenured professor in a small community college in California and he’s feeling each and every one of his 43 (bitter) years. Except… for his dog. He loves his dog and … well… he loves to teach, too.
Rafael is in his late twenties and hasn’t settled down because in his family they don’t believe in “the gay”. So despite his huge heart and hot body, he can’t find someone willing to be with him long-term.
When Rafael’s friend (and James’ student) set the pair up for a cute meet, it’s instant attraction but neither feels the other could possibly be in it long term.
But James can see the big picture and understands that sometimes life is the bridge where you meet and Rafael knows how to be loyal and true and sometimes those cute meets work out into forever.
I laughed when I read on GoodReads that this is the “prequel” to the teeny tiny short story from the DSP Halloween anthology. It’s wonderful (so is the Halloween story, but this is like 5 times as long!). James struggles so hard not to be a sad sack, but his heart is still broken and (more importantly?) so is his pride. When he sees the “underwear model” Rafi – it’s so wonderful how he’s willing to at least let go long enough to give it a try.
I loved that Rafi was so blunt and open with his feelings. We didn’t have to do the whole “men who won’t talk trying to figure their shit out” thing, because both men were fairly transparent. And… there were still problems to be worked out – real problems- and prejudices that had to be left behind.
The smexy times in this book are scorching and the humor is practically on every page but the most outstanding part of this story is the deep emotion and vulnerability that both guys show – pretty much from the start.
I loved this story very much and if you haven’t yet – I urge you to look it up!
(Plus – YOWZA that cover! Ai- papi!)
5 of 5 stars
Purchased for Review