RELEASE DATE: June 26th
BLURB: Workaholic Nate Erickson is a successful real estate developer who thrives on long hours and stress. When a Los Angeles project prompts him to relocate to Santa Monica, he welcomes the change of scenery. Nate has always considered romantic entanglements trouble, but his sexy next-door neighbor isn’t easy to ignore. Which makes no sense, because Nate is straight… or so he’s always thought.
Alex Reyes is a retired professional soccer player turned West Hollywood business owner with an insatiable lust for life. He loves his family, friends, and work. But there’s one life challenge left to accomplish: coming out publically. Respect for traditional Latino values has kept him in the closet, but Alex begins to think he and his new neighbor might help one another combat their fears. As Alex and Nate forge a strong friendship, they soon realize facing their personal demons will take more courage than either man bargained. The reward is immeasurable… if the timing is right.
I like Lane Hayes. I read her “Better than” series, which was excellent and this one is just as good! In this book we get to know Alex – he is my weakness, there was something about him that attracted me right from the start, even though it was a glancing mention. He’s a former professional soccer player, a friend of Michael’s – the protagonist of the first book. He’s Latin American from a very religious family, his beloved mother died some time ago and his relationship with his father has never been good due to his sexual preferences. Most people believe he is gay but he’s not officially “out” with the press, even though he frequents gay bars and volunteers for the LGBT youth. He has intimate relationships though they are not serious and based mainly on sex. He meets Nate through renting him an apartment. Alex believes that their relationship will be like all the others. But Nate is different – he’s a serious businessman, a workaholic, divorced with a non-existent private life. Alex thinks he’s attractive and reminds him of Clark Kent and the glasses he wears? Sexy! Obviously not everything is simple and straightforward. Nate has serious luggage, but his encounter with Alex changes his perspective on life. There is a tenderness that Nate doesn’t expect or believe he is worthy of. Alex is just perfect, sexy, a nice person with solid values. There is only one problem, one big flaw… he’s a character in a book, but so well designed, that it seems real.
This is the beauty of the author’s characters, you feel like you can touch them and though they seem perfect at first, when you dig deeper, there are doubts, concerns and weaknesses, they are all parts of us and that’s what makes them appear real. Alex helps Nate to come to terms with his life and to make peace with his past. Nate finds out what he has missed out on when he falls for Alex. I have to say that the declaration Nate makes for Alex is one of the finest and sweetest that I have ever read – it’s worth reading this wonderful book for that alone! The sexual tension is palpable, but it’s emotional and strong, keeping the reader glued to the book. In summing up, a beautiful series from an author that I will certainly continue to follow. Highly recommended.
***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reviewing this ARC. My review was an honest opinion of the book***