The Empty Box (The Square Peg #3)

Author: Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow

Publisher: Loose Id

Rating: 3.5 stars

Buy Links: LId and Amazon

Type: Novel in a Series

Received from Publisher


Blurb:  Dave’s taking life day by day after leaving Travis, his emotionally abusive partner of fifteen years. Working as the cook at the Square Peg is all the social life he has and he’s content with that.

When a swerving car leaves him sprawled on the snowy sidewalk with a broken ankle, being rescued by his new neighbor, young, sinfully pretty Jeremy, seems like the start of something good, even if twenty years separate the two men. But Travis isn’t content to let Dave slip away and Dave’s his own worst enemy, holding Jeremy at arms’ length when Jeremy wants to get as close as possible.

With decisions about his future complicated by his tangled past, can Dave accept the second chance Jeremy offers or will his heart stay empty of love?


Review:  Dave managed to get out of the way of the fast moving car just to slip on the ice covered sidewalk and hurt his ankle. It’s luck his new neighbor, Jeremy, happened to be walking by at the time. Dave was not at his most polite, to say the least. It wasn’t the best way to meet the new neighbor, but Jeremy stays with Dave through the whole hospital ordeal and gets him home. Jeremy isn’t doing it solely out of the kindness of his heart. He’s finding himself wildly attracted to Dave who wants none of it. He doesn’t want a younger man to be stuck with him and he’s convinced Jeremy doesn’t really know what he wants. Really, Dave was quite condescending. Jeremy’s patience and perseverance pay off. Jeremy and Dave finally go from being friends and neighbors to being… potentially boyfriends. That’s when the creepy stuff starts to happen. Dave’s ex, Travis, is crazy. In the drug using and stalking kind of way. Travis thinks Dave is his and will come back to him, so he threatens Jeremy to stay away. When that doesn’t work Travis starts with the full blown emotional blackmail and manipulation. That backfires on Travis. Dave is left to deal with the aftermath. Jeremy is unable to help Dave this time around. Dave needs to help himself.

I wanted to love this book. I’ve really enjoyed the previous books in the Square Peg series. This one just didn’t grab me. I can’t put my finger on any particular thing I didn’t like in terms of Dave and Jeremy’s relationship, or even in terms of Dave and Jeremy themselves. I just felt no big spark. I was content to read the book and I was content to do something else. And I really hate saying that.

The character of the Beekeeper was interesting to me. Not as a character in and of himself, but as he was a construct who felt like he had no other purpose than to explain to Dave and Jeremy what was wrong in their world. I think I’d have preferred if Dave just went to a counselor to deal with his problems from his relationship with Travis. There was a lot of dysfunction going on and no real help other than some old widower who keeps bees who only existed in the story to help Dave and Jeremy.

I didn’t hate or even dislike this story. Mostly I don’t have strong feelings one way or another. It’s still very readable and there are cameos of other Square Peg employees. Significant things are happening at the Peg. Interesting things. If you love the series this is a worthwhile book.

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