- File Size: 1976 KB
- Print Length: 287 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1546600647
- Publisher: Oceanside Press (June 8, 2017)
- Publication Date: June 8, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0725DR2FM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,077 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Seventeen years ago when their family were both stationed in Germany, Zander and Cole became a couple. However, Zander determined to never let anybody close, because they all leave in the end, so he broke things up with Cole. I LOVE the emotional conflicts that happened at present time between the two men. It is clear that the feeling is still there; still strong even if they haven't seen each other for almost two decades.
I appreciate that Cole doesn't immediately give in to his feeling once he acknowledged it and accepts that Zander wants to give their relationship a second chance. Cole was hurt all those years ago and he won't let Zander get away easy. That is where the slow-burn comes from. It takes time for both of them to be together. Not to mention that when this story starts, Cole has a steady boyfriend.
In fact, that is probably the major reason for me not being able to rate this book higher. As much as I love complicated love stories, anything that involves a third party is not easy for me to read. I hate seeing the other person getting hurt, especially if it's not their fault.
In between Zander and Cole reconnecting there is of course Zander dealing with his daughter. I like kids in my romance, but Savanah isn't an easy child in the beginning. It does give a perfect excuse for Zander and Cole to keep line of communication open but at times I admit that Savanah tries my patience as well *smile*.
There is another angst included near the end regarding Cole's mother. I'm not sure if it's needed at all, to be honest. However, I'm not too annoyed by it.
The epilogue, by the way, is perfection *sigh*
What impressed me most was how balanced the characters and story elements were. Every bit of dialogue and situation moved the narrative forward and built onto the MC’s personalities. The little girl, Savanah, was very much a part of Zander and Cole’s interactions yet never overtook the romance, drawn well to show her as quite bright but still acting and speaking in an age appropriate way. It’s a pretty slow burn for Zander and Cole as they don’t even begin to date until more than halfway through the book. I was actually surprised when I hit that point it read so fast and smoothly. The growth of their new relationship was wonderfully told, well-paced, never feeling either too slow or fast. Really good secondary characters fleshed out Zander and Cole making them even more believable and relatable. Plus who wouldn’t love a kindergarten teacher slash animal rescuer and a man who will burn brownies for his daughter’s teacher?
The only reason it didn’t make a 5 Star for me was lack of some kind of...oomph, for lack of a better term. I personally prefer some kind of strong tension or crisis point to add stimulus. It was nonetheless a very engaging, enjoyable read without big dramas or misunderstandings. The high point was the epilogue set in the future that allowed imagination and visualization for how Cole and Zander’s romance progressed. I have to add that I appreciated the single POC on the book cover. The author didn’t make it easy to distinguish which MC the model represents, only giving brief, subtle character descriptions to define them. This wasn’t a story with any direct racial or cultural issues as part of the plot so it didn’t really matter who lacked melanin. I’d recommend it highly, for quality writing and a great presentation of the trope.
*An ARC was provided by the author, publisher or promotional service and I have chosen to publish a fair and honest review for Jessie G Books Reviews blog*