Title: Promises (Coda Book 1)
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Second Edition, Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Page Count: 228
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Can a man who loves his small hometown trust it to love him back?
Jared Thomas has lived in the mountain town of Coda, Colorado his whole life. He can’t imagine living anywhere else. But Jared’s opportunities are limited—the only other gay man in town is twice his age, and although Jared originally planned to be a teacher, the backlash that might accompany the gig keeps him working at his family’s store instead.
Then Matt Richards moves to town.
Matt may not be into guys, but he doesn’t care that Jared is. A summer camping and mountain biking together cements their friendship, but when Matt realizes he’s attracted to Jared, he panics and withdraws, leaving Jared all too aware of what he’s missing.
Facing Matt’s affair with a local woman, his disapproving family, and harassment from Matt’s coworkers, Jared fears they’ll never find a way to be together. But for the first time, he has the courage to try… if he can only convince Matt.
**Meant to Be**
Jared has simple goals for his freshman year of college: make friends, lose his virginity, come out, and maybe fall in love. He doesn’t anticipate getting caught between his friend Bryan and Bryan’s flamboyant ex. Through the awkwardness, Jared learns love doesn’t always mean sex and the most meaningful connections might have nothing to do with romance.
I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book so I was super excited to have a chance to read it for the first time as the second edition is set to come out.
I loved so many things about this story. The relationship that started as a simple test drive that created a strong bond of friendship between Jared and Matt, then ended in so much more was honestly so inspiring to read. I loved the turmoil that went through each of them at different times while they were together. And then when everything finally clicked, it was so worth the wait.
Stories like this remind us that no one is perfect. No one has all the answers. There are always going to be people who don’t agree with you or don’t approve of what you do. But you have to live your life for you and what makes you happy. This was a great reminder of that. I loved the way they loved each other.
I had wished for a bit more of a neatly wrapped ending, but there was an HEA regardless. It was a sweet, emotional and delightful read with a short prequel in addition.
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