Five years ago, an accident fractured Gabe Cooper’s family. Believing it was broken beyond repair, Gabe and his best friend Jamie Carlson left Minnesota behind for San Diego sunshine and college. Now another crisis brings Gabe home to help his ailing father, and he finally has to face the guilt that kept him away for so long.
Scott Stark also returns to Minnesota, with his young niece and nephew in tow, shouldering new family responsibilities. While Gabe comes to grips with his past, Scott struggles to accept his present role as a substitute parent, caring for two children, each with different needs. As Gabe and Scott get to know each other, reclaiming family life almost seems possible. Only two things stand in the way of love: Gabe’s unresolved relationship with Jamie, and Scott’s plan to leave Minnesota as soon as he can. Both men will have to accept past mistakes if they want to salvage a future together, and time is running out.
When it comes to Riley’s stories I eagerly jump in without pause. I’m to the point that I close my eyes and hold out my hand, heart hammering with anticipation. I see the title…hmmm, okay this should be interesting, something is being rescued. Then I see the cover…which has been updated (and improved if you ask me) with a man. I like this man, I don’t know why but there’s something in his eyes that calls to me and I can’t wait to meet him. I skip the blurb because, well, I don’t need it (foolish I know but you can remind me in a second). I take a deep breath and I open it. And…I’m not really sure what’s happening (ahem, and this is why there’s something called a blurb!) but I don’t care. It’s almost as if the big picture was slightly blurred and I could only see the center. Gabe Cooper is the pivot of this tale and I could see him clearly. I just couldn’t make out everything else rotating around him. Why did he leave his family five years ago? Is Jamie his best friend or boyfriend? What happened to his sister? How come his dad won’t look him in the eye? And his neighbor, what in the world is his story?? All good questions…with even better answers. Wanna find out?
I live in a small town and always enjoy visiting others. So, it’s no surprise I had a great time in rural Minnesota. Gabe left his hometown several years ago without a backward glance and is holding onto sharp memories. It was easier to leave and stay away when he felt unwelcome. He has missed his sister, his twin, but he struggles with her new reality. She may have forgiven him but he will never forgive himself. And bearing witness to her physical limitations is like a fresh tear to his seeping emotional wounds. But his dad needs him and his family morals burn brighter than his shame. Coop raised the twins on his own and instilled core values into his children. So when an old neighbor appears out of nowhere, frazzled and obviously in over his head, Gabe steps up to help. As my Granny would say, “he gets it honest.” Meaning, he just can’t help himself. He jumps in and throws Scott a life preserver because he is clearly drowning. Turns out this helping hand is a lot more fun and serious than he ever imagined. *sigh* I just love it when they unexpectedly fall in love.
It was easy to love Gabe. It was obvious he has been carrying the heavy burden of remorse and the weight is wearing him down. He’s been so focused on keeping Jamie safe, he’s lost himself. Running after his sister’s accident was cowardly but at the time, it seemed the only option. There are few people he holds close to his heart and he’s already failed once, he can’t fall short a second time. However, when he is forced to come home, everything shines in a different light. Did he see things wrong before? Or only see what he wanted to? Regardless, he’s back and going to dig his heels in when he’s needed. As it turns out, he’s very much needed. Scott’s world was flipped upside down one day and it hasn’t stopped flipping. Standing in to care for his niece and nephew wasn’t on his radar until…it was the only thing. Emma and Josh will stand out and make their mark on your heart and I can guarantee you won’t forget them anytime soon. My heart ached for them and yet, I couldn’t help but feel proud of them. The struggles are real, the emotions are sharp, and love pulses from the pages. Be it neighborly, sisterly or fatherly…I felt it. Gabe and Scott are imperfect men in an imperfect situation but their love was….perfect. I loved how they came together and stayed together…and I am confident you will see the beauty in them too.
Secrets. But never fear, they don’t keep for long. Restoration. Hearts are healed and bonds reconnect. Slow burn. Work and kids don’t always make sexytime easy but that only intensifies the moments caught.
Anyone searching for a touching tale of two men and their journey…home.
AUTHOR: Con Riley
PUBLISHER: Figment Ink
LENGTH: 269 pages
RE-RELEASE DATE: December 4, 2018
BUY LINKS: Amazon