Title: Change of Address
Author: Jordan S. Brock
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: October 24th 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 312 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.6 stars out of 5
Air Force sergeant Michael Baldwin wanted nothing more than to escape his family’s political ambitions, but his dream of freedom was shattered by an enemy bullet to the head. Two years later, he and his service dog, Kaylee, resist his father’s demand to join him on the campaign trail—where a photogenic “wounded warrior” is always an asset—and instead return to the family’s summer home on Hartsbridge Island.
There Michael and his beautiful German shepherd capture the attention of Josh Goldberg, co-owner of the local bagel shop. Josh has a knack for business and a killer repertoire of his bubbe’s recipes. But lack of education undermines his confidence, and Josh’s father doesn’t share his ambition for the restaurant’s future.
Chicken soup and bacon might be the way to Michael’s heart, but he and Josh need time to learn about everything that comes after—lessons that Governor Baldwin and his relentless ambition will do anything to thwart. Letting someone in is a tall order for two men who can’t trust themselves, but if they have any hope of a future together, that’s exactly what they’ll need to do.
Change of Address is a sweet, slow and steady romance with a really nice, healthy helping of hurt/comfort.
The hurt/comfort comes from Michael Baldwin finally getting his life back together after the last couple of years in the hospital and in outpatient treatment physical therapy. Determined to start over again Michael’s moved to his family’s summer home on Hartsbridge Island with his German shepherd service dog, Kaylee, and caught the eye of local business owner, Josh Goldberg.
I really loved the byplay between Michael and Josh, and how realistically Michael’s anxiety and PTSD were portrayed. Kaylee, even though she’s a dog, is another wonderful character and lends a sweetness to the struggle Michael deals with daily. I liked that Josh never pushes Michael out of his comfort zone is always understanding of what he’s going through.
“How come you’re so understanding?”
Josh gave a little shrug, fingers tightening. “I’m just willing to take a chance, that’s all.”
He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this happy. Two years ago—six months ago—he would’ve bet his trust fund that he’d never be this happy. And he owed it all to Josh.
The side characters, especially Josh’s dad, are well fleshed out and a pleasure to read. I look forward to getting to know them more as the series progresses. Frankly, I liked most everything about the story, except for the end. I really would have preferred another chapter or two to tie up some pretty glaring loose ends.
First, what was up with throwing in Josh’s reading troubles and not following up? He’s supposedly almost illiterate, but we don’t know if it’s because he’s dyslexic or if it’s for some other reason. This just felt thrown in. It really didn’t have a great basis to me, mostly because Josh’s father, who lives with Josh and owns and runs a business with Josh, doesn’t know? I mean, come on! These two are obviously really close, they have great rapport in the story, but the reader is supposed to buy that Josh’s dad doesn’t know he’s almost illiterate? I just don’t buy it.
Secondly, the ending with Michael’s father felt completely unfinished. Michael walks out with his final “I have a new family now.” and then…what? Suddenly it’s the epilogue and six months later? What? What did his mother think? What did his sister say?
And while we’re on the subject of Michael’s sister – what’s up with her running away for a year? That thread was alluded to and then dropped like a hot rock. Disappointingly so.
Because this appears to be the first in a new series perhaps Brock is planning on tying up those loose ends in the next installment, but I really wish they’d at least initially been addressed here.
However, overall I did enjoy it. It was a nice Sunday read, and I’ll definitely be checking back to see if more stories are forthcoming.
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