Title: The Unlikely Prospect (States of Love)
Author: Lex Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 7, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 126
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States. In Prospect Harbor, Maine, lobsterman Harper Cook has always loved the sea. He and his two brothers work the harbor waters, in a fishing village of one thousand where everybody knows everybody else’s business and nobody wants to be different.
When it’s time for the annual Men of Maine pinup calendar, Harper’s brothers eagerly volunteer him. Harper isn’t thrilled to bare it all to raise money for an elementary school playground—until he meets out-and-proud Los Angeles out-a-statah Sean Blackburn: the highly available first-grade teacher with Hollywood heartthrob looks.
Harper has no desire to ever stand out from the crowd, but Sean persists and earns Harper’s friendship. Through Sean, Harper opens up to new possibilities. Things get steamy, but Harper still protects his heart. Though the right pressure in the right place might crack even a loner lobsterman out of his shell.
Harper Cook is a man of few words, a born and bred Maine lobsterman, who finds solace in the lush beauty all around him. Which is why he is absolutely flabbergasted to find himself agreeing to pose for the Men of Maine calendar … nude … well, except for a rather large lobster and a strategically placed lobster trap. Sean Blackburn, the new first grade teacher in town, is the driving force behind the fundraising calendar. And before you can say insta-love, Harper and the smokin’ hot Latino out-a-statah (from California) are involved in a wicked hot relationship.
With an interesting plot and sexual chemistry to burn, this story clips along at a perfect pace, and I loved how Sean and Harper have a low-angst relationship with no Big Misunderstandings or other plot contrivances. Speaking as a lobster-hating landlubber here, the chapter where Harper teaches Sean how to eat a lobster (sucking the juices from the lobster tail, tomalley, shucking off the cartilage and ribs, cracking knuckles) is all kinds of gross, but then again, it perfectly fits the Maine setting.
My only “niggles” for the book are minor. 40-year-old Harper is described as a perpetually horny teenager with his “high school hormones” far too often, and while I liked getting Harper’s POV throughout the book, Sean’s POV would have been good. Finally the subplot about a missing manuscript felt a bit too coincidental, but otherwise, this is a sweet, wicked hot book!