Author: Mary Calmes
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: 96 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A guest review by Lasha
Summary Review: A fun Harlequin-esque reunion story of ex-lovers who still have a lot of unfinished business that quickly won me over.
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.
Normally, I like Mary Calmes’ books and Again was no exception. This novella follows a typical Harlequin-esque plot of former lovers reunited years later and surprise: we have a baby together! Now considering the fact that Noah and Dante are both men, their daughter is obtained through a surrogate (Noah’s sister), but it still adheres to that tried and true romance plot. (Did I happen to mention before I love romance novel cliches/tropes?) So if you are like me and love reunion stories with a kid twist, I think you will enjoy Again.
What Worked for Me
Noah. He is a great character. After the Big Misunderstanding that separated Dante and him nearly six years ago, he didn’t just sit around pining for his ex-husband. He got on with his life, raised their daughter and started dating. New boyfriend’s name: Keith. When Dante and him have their surprise reunion meeting in Las Vegas – Noah was there for a friend’s wedding – he is not a shrewish ex who hates Dante. He’s moved on and accepted Dante left him for a woman. He’s over his ex, or so he thinks.
Dante. He’s gorgeous, charming, funny and an all-around great guy. (This is a Mary Calmes’ character, you did not expect anything less, did you? g) I liked that once Dante decided he wanted Noah and his daughter back he went to any length to make that happen. The Big Misunderstanding that broke them up is quickly resolved and Dante just wants back the love of his life and is not going to let a little thing like a new boyfriend to stop him. (I thought the Keith, Noah and Dante scenes were hysterically “awesome.”)
Keith. Ms. Calmes doesn’t make him into a jerk really. He’s a flawed guy who truly cared for Noah and his daughter, but had some issues, which Dante exploits the hell out of. So it was no surprise who won Noah in the end.
Grace. Cute kid, non-annoying and for a story with a child in it, that is important to me.
Dante’s extended family. The Cerretos are warm, welcoming and amazing secondary characters. I only wished they were in more of the novel.
What Didn’t Work For Me
The Big Misunderstanding (through the actions of a third party) that kept Dante and Noah apart for nearly six years and Dante out of his daughter’s life. I know in these type of plots, there has to be some time and distance for the kid to grow up and the couple to reunite, but the misunderstanding didn’t seem realistic and if these men had just communicated with each other, some issues could have been resolved years ago.
Other than that, I really enjoyed Again, and it quickly joins the Warder series as my favorite Mary Calmes book. It had a fun plot, great banter between the two main protagonists and wonderful secondary characters. It was a light romp that reminded me of my Harlequin Romance reading days. Recommended if you like this type of book.