Author: J.H. Knight
Length: Novel (217pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (13th March 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: Skip thought he had it all: the fabulous husband, the great apartment, and the teaching job he’d always wanted. Even the cat was perfect. When his partner of eight years decides he wants something else—something that doesn’t involve Skip, the apartment, or even the cat—Skip decides it’s time to go home to the other side of the country.
However, Skip’s hometown doesn’t just hold a loving meddling mother but also the memories of his awkward crush on a boy he met his senior year in high school. A boy he humiliated himself in front of just when it looked as if his fantasies might become reality. Finding out Paul Miller is now working at the same high school where Skip has just been hired flips his world upside down. After a heated night together, Skip is happy being friends with benefits. Paul will have to convince him love is worth the risk.
Review: Skip was perfectly happy with his life with his husband and he has a great job and does volunteer work, everything was going great and he had begun to talk about adoption… until his husband walked in with a bunch of paperwork to end their relationship. Now Skip’s back in his hometown, living with his mom and working at a new school, still feeling the bruises of a shattered relationship when Paul walks back into his life. Paul returned to his hometown after the death of his partner, meeting Skip again is great as the shy man still manages to fumble his way into his affections, but fighting the emotional damage that Skip’s ex has wrought is hard. Can Paul break down Skip’s walls? And, can Skip take a chance on love again?
This is a story about damaged trust, personal demons and opening your heart to love again, and taking a chance on happiness. Skip has been hurt, he was blindsided when his husband left him and now he doesn’t know if he can trust his instincts. Paul is ready to love again, after losing his partner he knows that when it comes to love you have to grab hold with two hands and embrace it, but how do you convince someone of that when they are more interested in protecting themselves from hurt? Skip and Paul do embark on a relationship, but when one sees it as a step to more and the other one just wants to see it as convenient friends with benefits, just what are they expected to do?
I have to say this was a really good story that delved into the psychological damage that an unexpected breakup can cause, delving into the insecurities and doubts it can cause and the lingering scars that can affect future relationships. Skip and Paul make the perfect couple, fun-loving, sweet and basically adore each other, but Skip holds himself back from admitting the truth to himself until it is nearly too late. Paul is wonderful, sweet, thoughtful, sexy and funny, he accepts that Skip needs time, but it frustrates him when Skip is determined to keep him at arm’s length. *sigh* They are wonderful together and yes you really do want to slap Skip silly over how he treats Paul, there’s only so much sympathy in the world for a bad break up.
All the characters are wonderful, I loved both Skip’s and Paul’s Mom’s they are the kind of mothers that you dream of having and boy are they mischievous. I even kinda warmed to the ex, Monty, who has a huge amount of cheek by the way. The other supporting characters are incredible; Katie, Tommy, Faith and Johnny add something special in the friends and family department and add to our amusement and joy.
I recommend this story to those who love pure romance stories, emotionally damaged men, a fantastic support network, mischievous mothers, vindictive sisters, a perfect man, incredible sex and a very happy ending.