Title: The Empty Box
Series: The Square Peg, #3
Author: Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow
Length: Novel (299 Pages)
Publisher: Loose Id (April 7th, 2015)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ Hearts
Blurb: Dave’s taking life day by day after leaving Travis, his emotionally abusive partner of fifteen years. Working as the cook at the Square Peg is all the social life he has and he’s content with that.
When a swerving car leaves him sprawled on the snowy sidewalk with a broken ankle, being rescued by his new neighbor, young, sinfully pretty Jeremy, seems like the start of something good, even if twenty years separate the two men. But Travis isn’t content to let Dave slip away and Dave’s his own worst enemy, holding Jeremy at arms’ length when Jeremy wants to get as close as possible.
With decisions about his future complicated by his tangled past, can Dave accept the second chance Jeremy offers or will his heart stay empty of love?
Product Link: http://www.loose-id.com/the-empty-box.html#product_tabs_description
Review: We met Dave in The Square Peg so having his own story just felt natural in getting to know all of the characters more intimately. In case you don’t remember, Dave is the cook/chef, at the bar owned by Ben and Shane. He ended his 15 year relationship with Travis a year or so ago and moved to the other side of town.
Walking home one night from work Dave is struck by a car, a hit-and-run, and left on the sidewalk to freeze. He knew right away he broke something which left him lying there, in the snow, helpless. Thank goodness, Jeremy, Dave’s new neighbor from across the hall happens by and offers Dave assistance. He even takes him to the hospital and waits for him so he will have a ride back home.
Jeremy works from home building computers for clients and for the most part has only ever dated women. He knew he found guys attractive but he never experimented too much with them. He also knows that he is and has always been attracted to the older male. If there are streaks of gray in their hair or other age defining marks all the more attractive they appear to him. He is in his later 20’s and doesn’t appreciate being treated like a kid or someone who doesn’t know what he wants.
And…he wants Dave. He immediately has an attraction for Dave, who is in his later 40’s, and he’s also in very good shape and takes care of himself, which doesn’t hurt either. Since Dave doesn’t have anyone immediate to help him now that he has a broken ankle and a cast, Jeremy offers to be there for him, in any capacity.
Dave is flattered by the attention but he’s not ready to hook up with anyone after his fiasco with Travis and he can’t get past the idea that he is too old for someone Jeremy’s age. Jeremy is relentless, however, in pursuing Dave and he doesn’t stop until Dave agrees to give it a try.
The story carries on from here but never really gains any speed. Dave and Jeremy are trying to make a go but there is a lot of resistance on Dave’s part therefore not gaining much ground. If it wasn’t for Jeremy being so persistent I don’t think they would have ever made any headway.
Travis has been out of the picture for a year yet he still has a hold over Dave. Little things start happening with Jeremy’s belongings and it appears that it could be Travis. This was never really proven although speculation was pretty clear. Dave decides he should approach him and ask him about it but all he accomplished was letting him back into his life.
The authors seemed to be adding some mystery and suspense into the storyline which allowed it to pick up the pace but it fizzled out pretty quick. If Travis was behind all of the little pranks, which I feel certain he was, he never admitted to it and it was pretty much forgotten. A tragedy does happen pulling Dave back into Travis’ world but this just caused unnecessary conflict between Jeremy and Dave. Again, this never really has any resolution either and we just seem them moving on to other things.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. I loved catching up with Shane and Ben and, Patrick who you can’t help but love. Dave finally gets to make a dream come true for himself in being a co-owner of a new restaurant, The Empty Box, with Shane and Ben.
My main problem with the story is it never seemed to go anywhere. It was day-to-day activities with low-level excitement and I never had the feeling that Dave and Jeremy really made any progress with their relationship. They do love each other, but I never really felt it from either one. There’s not much passion between them and when Dave slips up with his “I love you” there wasn’t any fireworks. I’m not sure if Jeremy even acknowledged that he heard him.
If you loved The Square Peg, then I would recommend reading this one as well just to catch up with the other characters. Some new characters were introduced so there is always the possibility for another story. If you want a story with a lot of sex or a lot of drama I would probably pass on this one.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *