Title: This Must Be the Place (Nick and Ben #2)
Author: Jane Darius
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 27, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 93
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Having explosive sex is easy for Nick and Ben—getting past their hang-ups and opening up to each other won’t be.
Handsome New York City bartender Nick might’ve left life—and his abusive, homophobic father—in West Virginia far behind, but even though he was a star quarterback in high school, he can’t outrun the effect those years had on him. He’s still not comfortable as a gay man, and he keeps his relationships short… as in a single night.
Hotel reviewer Ben is a hopeless romantic, but he can’t seem to find a guy who feels the same. After being cheated on again, he doesn’t expect to spend forever with Nick, but even their one-nighter doesn’t go off without a hitch. Ben falls asleep on Nick’s couch, and in the morning, they have to face their hookup that wasn’t…and the fact that there’s a connection between them whether they’re looking for one or not.
This Must be the Place is technically the second book in the Nick and Ben series, but the first story (Love Light, a short 21-page novella in Dreamspinner Press’ 2014 Advent Calendar) actually takes place AFTER the events in the second book so I’d suggest reading This Must Be the Place first, followed by Love Light as a short sequel. Confused yet?
In any case, Nick and Ben meet when Ben weaves his way into the bar where Nick works as a bartender, and orders a Negroni to forget his cheating boyfriend. Although Nick was closeted in high school, he hasn’t wandered too far outside the closet door, “[turning] being discreet into an art form by bringing guys back after the bar closed for the night.” But there’s just something about Ben that intrigues Nick enough to break his standard “wham-bam-thanks-man” routine, and they start dating. But before too long, Nick realizes that he needs to kick that closet door shut firmly behind him or lose Ben forever.
Told from both Nick and Ben’s POV, This Must be the Place features two MCs who feel complete and fleshed out (despite the book being under 100 pages), and while their story isn’t earth-shattering, it’s sweet and very sexy and an enjoyable read. 4 stars.
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