Author: Kade Boehme
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel (208 pages)
Publisher: Loose ID (July 2nd, 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: Tucker Gray is a Baltimore, MD waiter, hailing from the Deep South, whose mental health issues and past relationships have made it hard to trust more than the cut. After he hits what he thought was rock bottom Tucker decides to keep close to the ones who stood by him and keep his head down, until he finds something to prove it can get better.
Jesse Bauer is unsure what his future holds after an injury forces him to retire from the marines. With all of the decisions he has to make in his civilian life with all of its freedoms and possibilities, he feels staying closeted and keeping the people in his life happy will keep down the chaos.
Until the night, he met Tucker Gray at a party he thought that’d be possible, but both of them are instantly and strongly in lust. As their relationship grows, Jesse has to prove himself and Tucker has to learn to trust more than the cut.
Review: It all started with a kiss.
Tucker and Jesse meet at a welcome home party that their mutual friends have thrown for them. Jesse is home from the marines after an injury ended his military career. Tucker is returning from a vacation in Canada, or so that’s the story. A chance encounter in the restroom leads to a quick but passionate kiss that neither man can forget. Jesse has always been partial to guys, but he’s also in a long-term relationship with a woman. This coupled with a very troubled past make Tucker gun-shy to even consider giving Jesse a shot.
Jesse is definitely the alpha male persona. But the tall, brooding ex marine can’t stop thinking about the wounded soul he kissed at the party. When he and Tucker finally meet again, Jesse is not going to let his chance to get to know Tucker slip away a second time. The more time they spend together Tucker slowly starts to let his guard down, but Jesse still has a girlfriend and the closer he gets to Tucker, the more confused he is about his relationship with Miranda. Can a guy that spent 10 years wrapped in ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ and lived his life in the closet for fear of losing everything and everyone he loves build a life with a shy, wounded and slightly mental gay man who takes his breath away?
Boehme wrote these characters with a raw realism that is almost poetic. The characters are three-dimensional and have depth; they aren’t full of fluff and fantasy. Being from the south, I absolutely loved Tucker’s southern flare, his good ole boy drawl, and the shyness that ever encompassed him but managed to exit the room whenever Jesse was around. Tucker and Jesse struggle to maintain a relationship, both for different reasons, but Jesse is completely honest about his issues from the start. Tucker, not so much. He has good reason though, or at least he thinks so, but what will Jesse think when he learns the truth?
I’d give this book 10 stars if it were a move, definitely a must read! The HEA in this book takes several twists and turns to get to but it’s beautiful and perfect. A relationship takes a lot of work and Boehme does a fantastic job of showing the struggle his characters deal with along the way. They tear it up in the bedroom too, which is a definite plus!!