Author: Mary Calmes and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 28th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 2 hrs and 3 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Six years ago, Noah Wheeler went to meet his boyfriend, Dante Cerreto, at the airport, and his world ended. Dante was kissing someone else and claimed to be in love. So Noah took his heartbreak—and the sonogram pictures of their surrogate child—and closed the door on the big picture of what he thought his life would be, focusing instead on the piece of the dream he got to keep, being a father.
Now on vacation in Las Vegas, Noah accidentally runs into the Cerreto family, and then the man himself, and learns that not only was he deceived, but Dante was as well. Now Dante wants to make up for lost time, six years’ worth, and to do that he needs Noah, the only man he’s ever loved, and Grace, the daughter he didn’t know he had, to give him a chance at happiness. Dante’s going to have to take a crash course in communication and seduction, though. Noah’s not going to fall in love just to be broken again.
Wonderfully narrated by Nick J. Russo with great character voices, terrific timing, and good pacing.
The story begins with Noah who went to pick up his husband, Dante, at the airport and found him Dante kissing his partner, his female partner, and was told their relationship is over.
What’s worse? Noah had arranged for his twin sister to be impregnated with Dante’s sperm and she’s pregnant with their daughter. He never even gets to show Dante the sonogram picture. Once the shock wears off, and even though Noah is absolutely crushed, he does everything he can to contact Dante to tell him about their daughter – to no avail.
The beginning was actually my favorite part of the book – wonderfully written and brilliantly narrated by Nick, the emotions in beginning of this had me mesmerized.
The story picks up almost 6 years later when, by chance, Noah and his daughter Grace are in Vegas and Dante, along with his entire family, show up out of nowhere and push back into Noah’s life.
After the initial prologue the story actually takes place in less than 12 hours. It’s also a super short novella so while there is some backstory that gets revealed, there’s also a lot that’s not mentioned – and it does impact the story.
There’s also the matter of the guy Noah is non-exclusively dating, Keith, who I just felt like didn’t even need to be in the story. As a character and a plot point with what happens with him, it just felt unnecessary. Though I’ll be honest, there is one hilarious scene involving Keith that Nick J. Russo performs so wonderfully that I’m really glad we didn’t miss out on.
This is definitely not your standard miscommunication plot – this is more of a totally wild outside manipulation of characters by a trusted source that leads to the dissolution of marriage and breaking of hearts.
I really loved Noah and Grace, but I never warmed to Dante. He just kept rubbing me the wrong way. Especially when he decrees at first that Noah and his daughter pick up and move (from Southern California) to Maine without a thought to the disruption of Noah or Grace’s lives…it rankled.
Anyway, they eventually work it out and there’s a HFN/HEA, but I think the story would have been much better served if this had been a full-length novel.
In the end, while I really loved the narration I’m only sort of in like with the story.