When JUDAH MADDEN flees his tiny suffocating home town in New Zealand for the dream of international ballet stardom, he never intends coming back. Not to Painted Bay. Not to his family’s struggling mussel farm. Not to his jerk of a brother. Not with his entire life plan in shreds. And certainly not into the tempting arms of MORGAN WIPENE, the older, ruggedly handsome fisheries officer who seems determined to screw with Judah’s intention to wallow in peace.
But dreams are fickle things. Shatter them and it’s hard to pick up the pieces. Hard to believe. Hard to start again.
And the hardest thing of all? Finding the courage to trust in love and build a new dream where you least expected to find it.
I know Jay Hogan has several titles out, but this is the first time I am reading one. You know I am a sucker for a ballet dancer, right? Such a sucker that I didn’t even really read the blurb. Just said “GIMME!”
Fall from grace, early retirement, having to return home to the tiny town he hated, Judah is in a bad place. And he meets Morgan, a guy still grieving his wife while going through the motions of life. They quickly decide neither wants a relationship and to just be friends. HA! Ha I say! That never works out.
Morgan is the consumate relationship guy. Judah has only been in 1 relationship- and that ended when his career did. These guys are nothing alike and yet are so great together.
Center to their story is Judah’s health issues. And while a lot of time was spent with him dealing with it, I also didn’t feel like it was overboard. It isn’t something that can be ignored and it was almost it’s own character. Seeing how Judah dealt with it, how Morgan dealt with it, how family and friends dealt with it.
There’s also a subplot of poachers that Morgan is trying to catch. I didn’t grab me as much, but it kept him busy as I imagine his job normally isn’t that exciting.
There is A LOT of sex in this book. They cannot keep their hands off of each other. And I get it. And I think this is the first time in a book there was a sex scene that actually took advantage of the dancer’s flexibility. Wink wink.
There were quite a few side characters- Judah’s brother who resents him, his mother who has her own secret, his best friend and his daughter who has her own challenges and Morgan’s cop friend who offers a bit too much advice in my opinion. But all of the characters had good parts in the story, even Judah’s bully from high school. They all added to the story without acting as just filler.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to book 2. Especially if it is who I think it is.
4 Pieces of Eye Candy