4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Construction Worker Contemporary Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay Geek/Jock Heat Index High School m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series second chance at love Teacher Unrequited Love

Stage Two (Lexington Lovers #3) by Ariel Tachna

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents


Love has a steep learning curve.

Assistant high school principal Blake Barnes has everything he wants—a chance to help troubled students and an outlet for his passion for theater. Well, almost everything—he still goes home to an empty apartment. Then his high school crush explodes back into his life, the unexpected guardian of two boys in Blake’s care.

Thane Dalton has always been a bad boy through and through. Not much has changed, including his mistrust of authority figures, and no amount of institutional bureaucracy will keep him from protecting his nephews from the bullies terrorizing them. If that means butting heads with Blake, so be it.

Blake and Thane have lessons to learn: that they both have the boys’ best interests at heart, that the tension between them isn’t just confrontational, and that sparks can fly when opposites come together.


I don’t know what the name would be – but I think everyone has that fantasy – the boy/girl you crushed on in high school who was so unattainable but triggered all your young lust… now, you’re an adult and lonely and lo and behold – said person is still around and just as hot and now… he/she can be yours!

This hit all those notes. Thane didn’t know Blake when they were kids, but Blake sure crushed hard on Thane. Now Thane is an uncle and all bossy and protective and though he and Blake clash at first – that spark ignites between them.

I thought the chemistry was wonderful – very hot and yet it wasn’t the main focus of the story. The boys – Thanes nephews –were adorable and very charming. Blake’s role as principal was portrayed fairly accurately and his dilemmas with procedure felt authentic.

I didn’t like that even at the end Thane was a dick to Blake and Blake didn’t make him grovel enough when he really should have.

It was a sweet ending with a solid HFN/HEA and very hopeful. I enjoyed this and while I had some niggles – for the most part that it was really engaging.

4.25 (rounded to 4.5) of 5 stars



Morgan - Signature-small

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