3 stars adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Gay Gay Homophobia m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Riptide Publishing Single Parent Standalone Teacher

Release Day Review: The Pick Up (Up Red Creek #1) by Allison Temple

release day review

Riptide Presents


Kyle’s life is going backwards. He wanted to build a bigger life for himself than Red Creek could give him, but a family crisis has forced him to return to his hometown with his six-year-old daughter. Now he’s standing in the rain at his old elementary school, and his daughter’s teacher, Mr. Hathaway, is lecturing him about punctuality.

Adam Hathaway is not looking for love. He’s learned the hard way to keep his personal and professional life separate. But Kyle is struggling and needs a friend, and Adam wants to be that friend. He just needs to ignore his growing attraction to Kyle’s goofy charm, because acting on it would mean breaking all the rules that protect his heart.

Putting down roots in this town again is not Kyle’s plan. As soon as he can, he’s taking his daughter and her princess costumes and moving on. The more time he spends with Adam, though, the more he thinks the quiet teacher might give him a reason to stay. Now he just has to convince Adam to take a chance on a bigger future than either of them could have planned.


There was a lot about this that had potential. I liked the idea of Kyle revisiting his hometown and reconnecting there. I liked the idea of a nerdy teacher giving him a run for his money and I thought his daughter was adorable. (Later in the story I also really liked Kyle’s father, too.)

For me, unfortunately, I never really liked Kyle all that much. I didn’t connect strongly with him, or understand his background fully. While I thought it was cute at first, his calling Adam “Mr Hathaway” all the time got under my skin. Since our guys spend so much time struggling, I really wanted them to have a decisive HEA and it’s only tepid.

I won’t say that I’m looking forward to book 2 in this series, but if the blurb is intriguing I wouldn’t turn it down based on this experience.

This might be a case of “it’s not the book, it’s me” but this just didn’t work for me that well.

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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