Series: Rock Bay, book 1
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel (230 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 9th 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Tallis Carrington ruled Rock Bay with his gang of jocks and an iron fist-until a scandal destroyed his family’s name. Ten years later Tallis is dead broke, newly homeless, and on the walk of shame to end all walks of shame. He needs money and needs it fast, and Rock Bay is the only home he knows. But the people of Rock Bay haven’t forgotten him-or the spoiled brat he used to be. The only person in town willing to overlook his past is Lex, the new coffee shop owner, who offers Tally a job even though he appears to despise Tally based on his reputation alone. When Tally discovers his gorgeous boss is the kid he tortured back in high school, Lex’s hot and cold routine finally makes sense. Now Tally has to pull out all the stops to prove he was never really the jerk he seemed to be. After all, if he can win Lex’s heart, the rest of the town should be a piece of coffee cake
Review: James Alexis Barry better known as Lex (it’s a family name) has always known he was gay. He’s been best friends with his “girlfriend” Amy as long as he can remember. He was a little shorter and a little thicker in high school and was picked on relentlessly by the local homophobic jocks. Ten years later and Lex is not so awkward and pudgy anymore. He’s still living in Rock Bay and dealing with the same assholes he dealt with in school, but he’s made a life and a business with his little coffee shop. And most importantly, Tallis Carrington, the guy that made his teenage life a living hell, is far away in Seattle.
Tallis Carrington, Tally, spent most of his teenage years in the closet. In an effort to make sure that none of his buddies suspected he was gay, he bullied and tormented fellow student “Jamie” (Lex) and made his life a living hell. After his father died and he finally came out to his mother, who then disowned him basically, he moved to Seattle. Now he’s back in Rock Bay, broke and broken. His hometown has not forgotten or forgiven who he was when he was younger and they more than remind him of that fact when he returns. The only person willing to not only give him the time of day, but a job as well, is the enigmatic coffee shop owner Lex.
Tally is instantly pulled toward Lex, but he doesn’t remember who he is. Tally quietly becomes quite attached to Lex and eventually they end up together. But Tally’s old buddies and a hot male nurse, that wants to get to know Lex a little better, are determined that these two don’t get much farther than casual sex. Can Tally prove to Lex and the residents of Rock Bay that he’s a different person? Or will the past put a bridge between these two lovers that can’t be crossed?
I loved the character development between Lex and Tally for the majority of the book. Toward the end, the angst got to be a little much and they lost their way a bit, thankfully O’Shea brought them back full circle in the end. Strong secondary characters added some depth to the story, like Amy, Lex’s best friend, who is actually a lesbian. Mason the hot male nurse that thankfully turns out to like Tally’s old high school buddy Drew more than Lex.
Aside from the angst toward the end, this was a good, solid read. The ending is a little abrupt, but book 2 in the series is ready and waiting! If you are a fan of rocky love stories, characters learning who they are and being true to themselves, and some hot guy on guy action, then I recommend you grab a copy of this one.