adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Riptide Publishing Scorching/high heat second chance at love

Rain Shadow (A Bluewater Bay Story) by LA Witt

rain shadowBlurb

Jeremy Rose came to Bluewater Bay to work as Anna Maxwell’s bodyguard, not to escape his increasingly bitter relationship with his estranged kids. He just wants to focus on his job and be alone for a while. He’s done with love, especially now that three years after his long overdue divorce, he’s got a front-row seat to the rapid deterioration between Anna and her girlfriend. Cynical doesn’t even begin to describe him.

Then Anna and Leigh’s attempts to reconcile put him in the crosshairs of marriage counselor Scott Fletcher. Scott’s exactly what Jeremy needs right now: gorgeous, hot, horny, single, and 100% uninterested in a relationship. The problem is, too much no-strings-attached sex—and too much time in each other’s company—inevitably builds emotional connection.

Except Jeremy refuses to seek counseling for his broken family, and Scott refuses to get seriously involved with men who work dangerous jobs. They both need to realize they can only hide for so long from the pain they came here to escape. They must face their pasts before they lose their shot at a happy future.


Jeremy was in a marriage for almost 2 decades before he finally admitted to his family that he was gay. Since then, though the divorce has been more or less amicable, he struggles with the relationship with his kids. He’s moved to Bluewater Bay “to give everyone some distance” – in other words – he ran away from his problems.

Scott dated a cop 20 years ago who died, now he doesn’t date cops and isn’t really that interested in a relationship at all since all he does – day in, day out – is see bad relationships. When he sees Jeremy on a sight seeing trip and the two spark an interest, neither wants anything more than sex. Perfect, right?


I’m having a hard time reviewing this because I feel pulled in two opposite directions.

On the one hand, LA Witt is a great writer and she pulled me in to this story. I was invested in Jeremy and Scott’s relationship, Jeremy’s family struggles and even the secondary character’s relationship difficulties. I loved the Rain Shadow metaphor and her descriptions of the area were lovely.  I also LOVE older MCs and both of these guys are over 40 and still HOT!

On the other hand, I never really got a great feel for Scott and what motivated him. This was told from Jeremy’s POV and I think hearing from Scott’s POV would have helped me feel more connected to him.

I also got really, really depressed by Jeremy’s life. Man! His kids’ struggles seemed hopeless. His life seemed so depressing. All those years “wasted” and now he’s still not happy. Yes – being with Scott is like a breath of fresh air, but it’s still a bit tainted with them having to start things right off the bat with heavy discussions and some concessions.

I guess it’s pretty “real” and that’s commendable, but it didn’t leave a bright, shiny feel in my heart.

For me, reading is an escape, and I definitely don’t want to read about fictional peoples’ pedestrian struggles when I have my own pedestrian struggles to deal with.

So… my overall opinion is that this is a well-written, somewhat realistic story about two guys and their struggles to find happiness in a less-than-perfect scenario. (The sex scenes, which are NUMEROUS, were very hot, and I won’t say unnecessary because they did form the basis of their relationship but…there was a lot of sex in this.)

So, I guess I’d rate it a 3 – smack in the middle. For fans of the series, I’d say it’s nice to see the gang again, but this can definitely be a standalone.


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Copy Provided by NetGalley For an Honest Review

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