Title: Coasting (States of Love)
Author: Yvonne Trent
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 23, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 112
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 1.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
What happens when you need something but don’t know what it is? Why not look in a place you never heard of?
Out and proud elementary school teacher Cal Hamilton thought he was happy in Philadelphia, but after a breakup, he steps back to reassess his life and discovers something is missing. He gets in his car and drives south with no idea what he hopes to find. The flip of a coin leads him to a small town in Mississippi—practically a different world from the city where he grew up.
Police officer Billy Labarre keeps his sexuality mostly to himself, but he knows just what he needs to fill the hole in his quiet small-town life: the right man. Unfortunately attitudes toward gay men still leave a lot to be desired in the rural South, and it’s hard to meet someone. It’s not likely his perfect match is just going to show up out of the blue….
After the no-drama break-up of a five year relationship, school teacher Cal takes a summer road trip and by flipping a coin, decides to head west ending up in Ocean Springs, Mississippi on the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The author does a nice job of giving us the feel of a laid-back Mississippi beach community – fried shrimp and cornbread, Miller Lite, shrimp po’boys, Fourth of July cookouts, fishing on the bayou, etc. Cal gets a firsthand dose of Southern hospitality as Sergeant Billy Labarre lets Cal stay with him in his spare room since all the hotels are booked up, and then offers to be his tourguide.
The two men quickly fall in love (FYI – there is very little on-page sex, i.e. – As it turned out, Billy didn’t want it slow, and Cal obliged. Afterward they lay side by side, trying to breathe.) and their relationship is as angst-free as their quiet evenings sitting in Cal’s screened-in wooden porch. Coasting is a sweet story – as sweet as Southern iced tea – with a satisfying low-drama HEA and I give it 3.5 stars.
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