Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 26th, 2019
Page Count: 217
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
When high school student James has trouble with his truck, Dylan, who is studying to be a mechanic, comes to the rescue. James thinks he hides his immediate attraction well, but is happy to be wrong when Dylan asks for his number. Since James is new to romance, they take things slowly, and because Dylan is in college, James keeps the budding relationship secret from his overprotective dad. Across town, Mark, a teacher and single father to James and his sister, Frankie, meets Steve at a bar for what both believe will be a quick hookup. Mark doesn’t see any reason to tell his kids about Steve or press Steve for details about Steve’s adopted son…. It’s just sex between them. Isn’t it? Two very different love stories grow side by side, each hidden from the other. But all of that changes at a family barbecue, when Mark decides it’s time for his kids to meet Steve and for him to meet James’s boyfriend, who none of them realize is Steve’s son, Dylan. The inevitable explosion means the two couples have some explaining to do to soothe the hurt feelings of their families–and lovers.
Oh, Anna Martin. How I longed to fall in love with this story. I tried so hard, too. In the end, I found it confusing at times, very sweet, angry and underwhelming.
There are two separate, yet intersecting love stories going on here, which had me at hello. I mean, two for one? Yes, please.
Dylan is 20. He’s had a rough past, being abused and used throughout his earlier years in foster care. When he was adopted by Steve at age 14, he finally had someone who cared, who wasn’t leaving, and who showed him that he could fight for a future. As a practicing mechanic and college student, he meets James, 18. James is in high school and he’s never been with a guy, but he’s wildly curious and open and so so so sweet.
Mark, 45 is a high school Chemistry teacher and James’s dad. At this point in his life, he’s looking for more than just a hookup, since both James and his twin sister are going to be leaving for college. So when feelings happen between him and Steve, it gets somewhat complicated. Especially when they all meet.
For the most part, I loved the relationship between Dylan and James. It was very new and young and slow and I felt it. I didn’t love, however, how much down time there was in between seeing each other. It seemed like weeks would go by with nothing happening. And it confused me when James felt like he wanted to call and actually talk to Dylan, but didn’t feel like he could. Ooooookkkaayyyyy??
The relationship between ‘The Dad’s’ felt to me a little unhealthy. They started out kinky and fast, then slowed down and did the whole ‘getting to know you’ thing, which was good. But when they finally agreed that they both wanted a relationship, then they saw each other in public and pretended they didn’t know each other. Again, confusing. Even at the 4 years later epilogue, I didn’t feel like I had a good handle on where they were headed.
I did love the epilogue for Dylan and James, however. It ended well, and I was happy with their relationship, overall. I just wished that their father’s could have been as open and communicative as their sons were.
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