Title: Second Hand (Tucker Springs #2)
Author: Heidi Cullinan, Marie Sexton and Iggy Toma (Narrator)
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 22nd 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.58 stars out of 5
Paul Hannon moved to Tucker Springs for his girlfriend, but she’s left him with a house he can’t afford and a pantry full of useless gadgets. All Paul wants is to get back to normal, even if he’s not sure what that is anymore. When he wanders into Tucker Pawn for a gift to win her back, he meets El Rozal, pawn shop owner and all-around cynic.
El Rozal doesn’t do relationships, especially not with clueless straight boys still pining for their ex. El may make his living dealing in castoffs, but that doesn’t apply to men. Still, when Paul starts clearing out his old life, pawning kitchen equipment he never wanted in the first place, El is drawn to Paul in spite of himself.
Paul and El have nothing in common except a past full of disappointments. There’s no reason to believe the two of them could fit, but in El’s line of work, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. When it comes to love, El and Paul may learn that secondhand doesn’t mean second best.
I really like Iggy Toma’s narration in this – he gives a solid performance, I like most of his character voices, and he sucked me into the story making me ignore the outside world completely. Which is a good thing. No matter what my boss or co-workers might tell you.
Second Hand is one of those stories that has a slow build-up to the romance. Mainly because main character Paul is one of the most clueless characters I’ve seen portrayed in a long time. Paul is also what I call a downer dude or an Eeyore. He’s constantly dragging about lamenting his life and the choices he’s made. It’s hard for me to like a character like that very much.
Conversely, El, for all his chain-smoking and brusque ways, was a delight to get to know. The problems he faces with his family situation felt real, and were, I thought, handled well.
I like that the story has a slow build up to their relationship. I like the time it takes Paul to realize, and then comes to terms with, liking El in a romantic way.
What I didn’t like is the ex-girlfriend and the drama she brought to the story. Whenever she showed up I was livid while listening; practically boiling over with rage.
I also didn’t like the POV. Paul’s POV is in first person while El’s is third person. It was weird. I’m not sure if the weirdness was lessened or exasperated by the narration. I just know I didn’t particularly care for it. It wasn’t a deal breaker, but it did feel like two different stories mashed up into one book. Which, I guess if the two authors were penning different portions that makes sense, but I would have though it would come together more cohesively.
At the end of the day, though, it was an enjoyable listen with a sweet HEA and fans of Tucker Springs shouldn’t be disappointed with this installment of the series.