Title: Four (Love by Numbers #2)
Author: Tia Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 23rd, 2019
Page Count: 222
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Love by Numbers Story
When unlikely attraction blossoms between a twentysomething genderqueer tattoo artist and an older, small-town veterinarian, both are forced to face their pasts for a chance at a loving future.
Four years ago Padraig Donovan lost his husband, the only man he’d ever been with. Now his life consists of the work he loves, a big empty house, and the possibility of a lonely future.
Kaos’s experiments with makeup landed him in the hospital at the hands of his disapproving ex. With nowhere else to turn, he flees to Acker, Wisconsin… and runs into a sexy widower and the kindest man he’s ever met.
Padraig and Kaos know there’s something worth exploring between them, and as they raise a puppy and deal with the ups and downs of their respective jobs, they fit into each other’s lives in ways they never expected. Being with Kaos—who is so different than the guys he’s always been attracted to—opens up an exciting new world for Padraig. But can he convince Kaos to trust another man with his body… let alone his heart?
This series delves into quite a few issues, but they are all so very well dealt with, it actually adds to the emotional undercurrent and provides a bond between characters that is unique and strong.
Padraig is the town veterinarian and is beloved and respected by most everyone. Lately, though, he’s been feeling lonely. His partner died a handful of years ago, and he’s finally getting over the loss. But he still has his triggers. And when he does, he calls his best friend to help give him a shot of reality.
Kaos has been out of jail for a while and has finally come to Wisconsin to see his friend/brother Makai. He’s young, but when he glimpses the older veterinarian in town, he’s definitely interested in learning more about him.
When Padraig offers to rent a room to Kaos, they decide to take things slow. Both have a past that continues to haunt them and neither wants to ruin this chance.
There was so much packed into this story that it was trying at times. As far as the adultery, assault and grief issues went, the story was genuine and romantic. I loved the pace that both characters set and agreed on for themselves. And I loved the little pushes that friends gave them to continue growing their relationship.
Towards the end, it just seemed like things kept coming up the detracted from the story for me. And then the ending seemed abrupt. It was a good ending, but I was so engrossed in the story that I wanted a bit more.
I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and find out more about the closeted officer!