Series: Sandpipers 02
Author: Jade Archer
Length: Novel (207pgs)
Publisher: Total E-Bound (16th January 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts
Blurb: Sometimes the strength to fight the past lies in the love and friendship of the present.
Mark Carter has taken care of himself and those around him since he was a teenager. But with his younger brother and sister now packed off to college, he finds himself suddenly alone. Throwing everything he has into his new position at Sandpipers Restaurant leaves little time for anything else. And that’s just fine by Mark. Then Raven stumbles into his life and everything changes. Mark can’t help wanting to know more about the mysterious man. Which is easier said than done. Raven is painfully shy, a single parent and stutters, especially when he’s nervous. But Mark is determined to get to know the warm, intelligent man he glimpses beneath the quiet exterior. The question is, will Raven let him?
Raven finally has a chance to start again. He’s determined to put the past behind him and do whatever it takes to create a normal life for his young son, Ryan. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. He doesn’t have much acquaintance with ‘normal’, and the past has a way on intruding on the present no matter how hard he tries to escape it. Can he trust Mark with his secrets? And more importantly, should he?
Review: Raven is running from the past. With his son, Ryan he is starting a new life. Mark is intrigued by the quiet, shy, stuttering man and his son. As he angles to get closer to them, he begins to understand that there is a dark mark in Raven’s past that haunts him and Mark wants to be the one to help him overcome the past.
A well written novel which will touch your heart and brings back characters that we loved from the first book. Raven has been through hell in his past and is starting afresh. He understands that his past won’t leave him just because he moved, but he is determined that he will live his life. Mark has spotted Raven a few times and has been trying to talk to him, but the first time they do talk doesn’t work out too well. As time goes by, they begin a slow courtship as Mark gains Raven’s and Ryan’s trust.
This is an excellent story-line and this author wrote it in such a way as to misdirect the reader. I really was surprised as to who Raven’s abuser was. All along I was led to believe that it was someone else; brilliantly done. The psychological effect on Raven and Ryan was well portrayed and it was nice to see that it didn’t just disappear, but that Raven was still working towards a solution at the end of the book. Mark was trying his best with Raven, but Raven keeps things close to his chest. Despite this, Mark tries his best to gain Raven’s trust and there are hiccups along the way.
Both these characters are well written and they are well suited even when they both are fumbling to make it work. These two men can be frustrating, but they are wonderful. Ryan is a little sweetheart with his protection of his daddy. The progression of the relationship is weeks and months of just dating, rather than just jumping into bed. But when they did get there, then whoa, was it hot. The relationship is far from easy and they both get hurt as they try to make it work. I thoroughly enjoyed watching as Mark, Raven and Ryan fit together and started to make a family. All the while trying to fight the demons of the past; as Raven fears that Mark will try to control him and Mark fears that Raven will shut him out.
This story is for those who love family, damaged vulnerable men, hot sex, adorable children and a happy ever after.