45 and Holding

Title: 45 and Holding
Author: Jacki James and Jill Wexler
Publisher: Self
Release Date: September 28, 2018
Genre(s): M/M Romance
Page Count: 199
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


Empty Nest meets Mid-life Crisis

When widower Scott Anderson’s daughter goes off to college, he finds himself alone for the first time in as long as he can remember. With his primary role no longer being “Claire’s dad,” he realizes he isn’t sure who he is or what he wants out of life.

For Craig Baker, a mid-life crisis crept up on him in the form of restlessness that a new Jeep didn’t solve. Just as he’s contemplating getting a tattoo to try and shake himself out of this funk, he meets an old classmate who is in the same boat.

They’re both trying to figure out who they are at the age of forty-five.

For one man, there’s a slow realization that maybe he doesn’t need something to cure the restlessness, but someone.

For the other man, it’s the discovery of a new side to himself and the willingness to embrace it.
And for both of them, it’s realizing that mid-life means you still have half your life left so you might as well live it.

From the first page I was in love. The writing was so light and fluff free. So many parts were hilarious and the dynamic between the MC’s was perfection from the start.

Scott Anderson is a widower and a new empty nester when his daughter leaves for college. His best friend talks him into getting a puppy and then getting puppy training classes taught by Craig Baker, his former high school acquaintance.

Craig Baker is feeling all of his 45 years old and is quite possibly having a midlife crisis. He’s thinking it may be time for a tattoo or a motorcycle. But when Scott brings his puppy to training classes, he’s instantly attracted to him, even though he’s straight. But there’s no harm in becoming friends, right?

After spending lots of time together and suffering the signs of not being in their 20’s anymore, Scott decides he needs to make a decision. Either just be friends with Craig or stop denying he has feelings. Hot, physical, romantic feelings.

So, this is a first time gay romance for Scott and the story is written so well that the scary feelings and worry were not glossed over. Not everyone was thrilled. It was very honest and real and every scene had an underlying humor about it, which kept it light.

I loved the musings at the start of each chapter about getting older. There was a lot of talk about aging and what the expectations are of others, but the story is about taking the opinions of others and throwing them out the window. This was just a sweet story of two men who realize that they can start their lives at 45 however they want and create their own family together.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of 45 and Holding provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


Reading has become such a huge part of my life as an adult. I love the escape, but I also try to take something from each story for myself. I am a lover of words. I love dialogue. I love a slow burn and a happy ever after.

Favorite Authors: Garrett Leigh, Amy Lane, Mary Calmes, Lane Hayes, T.J. Klune, Roan Parrish, N.R. Walker, Cara Dee, Anyta Sunday

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