Author: Skylar M. Cates
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4.5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: How can you lose one dream and still find another?
Owen King is a lonely history teacher who wants to be braver. So when Owen learns about the deceased brother he never met, he breaks free of his safety net and risks answers. Despite his loving, adopted family, Owen wonders if there are missing pieces inside of him. Visiting the seaside town of Ocean Vista, where his brother lived and died, will be no vacation.
Andrew Teagan wants to be a winner. After being dumped by his last boyfriend, Andrew is through letting others dictate his life. To prove that dreams are possible, he’s going after his ambitions full force. Having signed on for a cooking reality show, Andrew’s ready to make his small café into a sizzling success.
When Andrew aids Owen on the beach, what starts off as an act of kindness turns into a hot temptation. But can a sweet budding romance survive when the time comes for Owen to leave town? Both men must learn to trust each other if their love will conquer the miles between them.
Review: Skylar Cates did it again with this one. I loved it. Her fabulous characters and mix of sweet and sexy make her books pretty much an auto read for me. This series is about a house full of guys who for their own reasons have found a family with each other. Something they were lacking otherwise. After finishing the first book I knew I HAD to read the next one. Each book follows a new couple but there are so many story lines going you really need to read these in order.
The story starts back up with the guys transitioning from Cole moving out of the house and Andrew moving in after his break up with the Ex. Andrew wasn’t friends with all the guys before he moved in so he understands the grief the others must be feeling, but doesn’t feel it as heavily as the others do. That made this book lighter than book one. There’s some relief from the grief. There were some teary eye moments for me when the secondary story lines took over but it wasn’t as heavy as Here With You. Andrew owns a cafe and decides to enter a reality cooking contest. That should be his focus but he meets an adorable sunburned man named Owen on the beach one day and there’s definitely an attraction. Andrew thinks Owen is in town on vacation. Owen is really there to finally face his brother’s death and learn about the man he was but that’s not the sort of thing you bring up with a stranger you’re strangely so strongly attracted to. They’re from different states and don’t really have time for relationships so they try to keep it friendly knowing it can’t go anywhere. Of course they lose that battle and things get serious pretty quickly despite it being impossible for them to be together without someone giving up what means most to them.
Owen and Andrew were so damn sweet together. Super sexy too. They’re both really good and honest guys who never meant to fall in love with each other. Andrew has had quite a few disappointments in throughout his young life. Once he was able to do something about it, he decided if he wanted something, to go after it and get it. Owen grew up with a well off family who loved and supported him. Finding his birth family was something that he was always curious about. Andrew gets mixed up in that but in the best way possible. They’re there for each other. To enjoy each other for as long as they have together. I liked that these two were always totally honest with each other. There were no games or guilt. No whining about how it would be over soon. They just put all of themselves into what they found with each other. It was really quite beautiful in that summer romance sort of way.
Normally all that sweetness might not be for me but the secondary story lines were heavier. Andrew and his actual family, not the guys, issues were a constant issue. I like how that part of the story subtly makes your realize why Andrew Is the way he is while completely endearing you to him for being who he is. Poor River is such a mess. He barely has any page time but when he does he leaves his mark on your heart because he’s so broken and devastated by his loss. Marc and Tomas just flat out break my heart. I love and hate every page they’re on because I know they’re hurting but I want to know everything about them and their history. Their story is the one I want the most. I can’t wrap my head around how two men could love each other that much but put such a distance between themselves. All while living under the same roof. Their pain and frustration is palpable. I NEED to know why?!?!
So book 2 is lighter and sweeter as far as the MCs romance but all the heaviness is still there lurking. This gave the book a really good balance. I get the guys falling in love. The hot meaningful smexy but I also get the depth I need to really get into a book. To feel something more. Some of the guys still have a long way to go to heal. Not just from the tragedy but from their pasts. Finding happiness is something I want so badly for these guys while reading this story. I think that’s what makes me love this author’s books so much. I’m totally invested in her characters. I laugh. I cry. I swoon. She can just make magic happen for the romance book lover in me. Hopefully the next book is Marc and Tomas but she set up River’s story so well in this book so I’d be happy to read that one soon too.