Title: Tribute Act (Porthkennack #8)
Author: Joanna Chambers
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 15, 2018
Genre(s):MM Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 206
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Nathan Bridges hadn’t intended to settle down in his home town of Porthkennack—he just ended up staying after saving the family business from ruin. The truth is, Nathan can’t stop himself from stepping in when problems arise. He’s a fixer, the man everyone turns to. But even fixers can’t solve everything.
When Nathan’s sister needs an organ transplant, it’s his stepbrother, Mack, who the family turns to as Rosie’s only potential living donor. Nathan’s curiosity about the stepbrother he’s never met turns to shock when he realises that Mack is his latest—and hottest ever—one-night stand.
Nathan and Mack agree to forget their single night together, but that’s easier said than done. When Mack moves in to Nathan’s place to recuperate after surgery, it’s not just the sexual tension between them that keeps growing. Against all the odds, and despite Mack’s wariness of intimacy, the two men grow close enough that Nathan begins to wonder what it would take to mend the rift that’s kept Mack and his father estranged for over a decade . . . and whether Mack might consider staying with Nathan in Porthkennack for good.
Nathan is a fixer. He left his London marketing career to come home to Porthkennack to save Dilly’s – the ice cream shop his stepfather Derek started – and now he’s part-owner and up to his neck in taxes, bills and scheduling. He wishes that he was able to donor his liver to his sister, but isn’t a match. Even when Nathan meets a long, lean, very hot guy at the bar one night, he’s thinking of how to “fix” him. Mack claims he just wants to fuck, but Nathan senses Mack’s vulnerability and knows he craves intimacy:
Somehow, I just knew this was exactly what Mack needed. The way he’d pressed his head against my hand as I’d stroked his hair. The way he so eagerly sucked me down, then told me he needed nothing. These clues pointed to a man who wasn’t comfortable asking for things with words but his body was crying out for what he needed, silently begging me. For some reason, it felt like I could read him—and that maybe he could read me too.
When it turns out that Mack is Derek’s son from a early marriage AND is donating part of his liver to Nathan’s kid sister Rosie, things get … complicated. Mack ends up rooming with Nathan during his post-surgery recovery period and their relationship develops slowly and carefully. Mack isn’t comfortable with expressing much of anything, but it is well worth the wait as Mack and Nathan sort out their feelings and realize how deep their emotional connection runs.
Tribute Act is also a story of family relationships and how difficult it can be to get beyond angry words and actions to arrive at the hurt feelings and fear, and then move past them to create a stronger family bond. I love the family Joanna Chambers gives us here, complete with its laughter and tears, and its good heart. Mack and Nathan’s relationship is only part of the story and the way everything fits together into this family-based story is perfection. 4.5 stars.