This isn’t a romance about billionaires, movie stars, or models. This is a story of two ordinary, working-class men, dealing with life’s real problems, and trying to find love along the way.
It’s been a long seventeen years but Herschel Wood Jr. is finally a free man and he’s looking forward to reconnecting with his old cellmate, Bishop Stockley, who promised him a place to stay and some help getting back on his feet. Wood had a good life once upon time when he’d owned one of the most successful tattoo shops on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront – until a fatal accident that was his fault cost him everything.
Now at forty-six years old, all Wood wants is to work in another shop on the beach and find a mature, easygoing man to settle down with. But when he gets to his new place and finds he has to share the small trailer with Bishop’s childhood friend, he wasn’t expecting a sexy, smart-mouthed brat that enjoys pushing a man to his limits.
Wood pressed in so tight until there was only air and misunderstanding between them, his mouth mere inches from Trent’s parted lips. “You wanted to get a reaction out of me you annoying, immature little shit… now you’ve got one.”
Trent Armstrong has never been considered a catch. He’s a twenty-nine year old laborer, an ex-con, and not the easiest person to get along with. Everyone he’s ever cared for has walked out of his life without a backward glance, so he’s used to the loneliness. His foul mouth and quick temper are a great defense mechanism and a good way to keep unwanted people away.
From the moment the tattooed, silver-haired man walked into the house there had been nothing but tension, side-eyeing, and sparks between them. Trent has always held back a side of himself that he’s nervous to explore, and without warning Wood’s voice, his maturity, that maddening scent, and even his damaged past all trigger feelings that Trent thought he’d buried long ago.
Trent went completely still when Wood dragged his nose over his forehead and down the side of his face. His voice was shaky, and his breaths were hot and swift along Wood’s throat. “What the hell are you doing?”
“I’m doing what you want me to do.” Wood whispered. “I’m playing your bullshit game, Trent.”
The True Lover’s Stories are connected standalones. Each title features a different couple but will contain previously mentioned characters.
No multiple pairings. No cliffhanger. Ends with a HEA.
Note: This is a steaming angsty, age gap, new-to-love romance.
Well. Dayum! I was a big fan of Bishop, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Wood. And while Bishop and Edison remain my favorite couple, I still enjoyed this book a lot. Was it perfect? Nah. But it was still a good read.
Bishop moved in with Edison and it seems his dad moved in with his girlfriend (this very well could have happened at the end of Bishop, my memory is crap) and since Trent was already sleeping on their couch- now he had the trailer to himself. Until Wood’s former cell mate gets out of prison and Bishop offers him the other bedroom. And to be roommates with Trent.
Poor Trent. I think mostly he was mad because he had a place to himself, that was basically his and now he has to share. Growing up like he did- I get it. And then apparently he had been quietly questioning his sexuality and then this handsome silver fox moves in.
Trent definitely has issues. He believes that everyone leaves him. Which is kind of unfair to Bishop and Mike who are ALWAYS there for him, but whatever. His mother bailed and a “mystery man” bailed. We do learn more about that, but no spoilers.
Wood also has issues, but is really good at compartmentalizing.
So push/pull, love/hate, older/younger. It is all there. They were both jerks to each other until they started hooking up. Then Wood’s past kind of smacked him in the face and Trent was there to help him through a really tough thing. Trent was really kind of swoony during all of that.
They were definitely hot together and I liked the premise of the story. Of course the writing itself was great. I did have a couple of issues. Mostly with Wood and his background. I don’t understand how he was found guilty of his crime. It seems easy enough to prove (yes, I am being vague). To not fight it at all. It seems he had the resources. I can’t imagine the guilt led him to accept that kind of punishment. But, it is what it is.
Trent also gets some closure, which he desperately needed and I was really happy for him there.
Overall, I really liked Wood and Trent together, but I am just really picky with some stuff. Admittedly.
4 Pieces of Eye Candy
I wasn’t ready. I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t. Let’s discuss.
We met Trent back in Bishop’s book, right? If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing and go read it. You will not be disappointed. I absolutely adored both him and Edison and they deserve every bit of adoration, they’re perfect. In saying that, I kinda had a bone to pick with Trent. He was mouthy, immature, hot-headed, immature, petty, immature, and in case you didn’t catch it, he was really immature. I didn’t understand him so much, I just knew he was important to Bishop, and now I understand why. Trent broke my heart. I felt for him so much in this story, because yeah, he’s still hot-headed, petty and extremely immature, he’s also incredibly loyal, the best friend to have in your corner, and once you earn a place in his life, there isn’t anything he’s not willing to do for you. He’s the best kind of person to have in your life, even if he doesn’t feel worthy.
Wood is fresh out of jail after doing near on twenty years for an accident that took a life. I say accident because it was, and Wood never made excuses and he owned it from the very beginning. That was Wood’s way. Fourty-six years young, he lost everything when he went in and starting over was going to be hard now that he’s out… not as hard as it could’ve been, because Wood had Bishop, who he met in prison. Bishop was giving him a place to get back on his feet, but there was once catch… he had to share the place with Bishops best friend, Trent… who did not want to be sharing his space with anyone, least of all a person that he felt had come between him and Bishop.
Trent doesn’t like change, doesn’t like new people, doesn’t like people who might threaten the relationships he trusts in, like Bishop is my best friend and he’s already got Edison, so there is no room in his life for another best friend, kinda thinking… I did mention the immature part, yes? However, it’s so much deeper than that and it hurt me to hear why.
Trent is used to be left. He’s used to being cast aside when someone better comes along, someone not as hot-headed and bratty. He’s used to pushing people away, giving them a reason to up and leave before they get a chance to leave him. He’s been hurt by so many people, left and discarded, it’s really no wonder he is the way he is. I would be too.
Feel attracted to Wood wasn’t part of the plan when he moved in, especially because he wanted to keep that chip on his shoulder and prove that Wood was the enemy, trying to take his best friend. Wood was somewhat patient and he seemed to see right through Trent, which was another problem, because as a ‘straight’ man, Trent didn’t want Wood seeing through him. It was inevitable though… they were exactly what each other needed.
My heart also broke for Wood, and I don’t want to give anything away, but I felt disappointed with me, in him and the man-made me feel all the emotions, especially when he messes up… badly. Not with Trent, with himself. With his sobriety. Having gone the last two years battling my own, I felt his pain. Maaaan, did I feel his pain. And that’s when Trent showed his loyalty. His compassion. His huge heart for the people he cared about. He knew it was likely going to bite him in the long run, but he was there. He fought for Wood when Wood couldn’t fight for himself. When Wood was broken, Trent held him together. How can anyone not see how beautiful that is?
I also loved the banter between Trent and Bishop and Bishop and Wood. I loved the interactions between Trent and Mike and how protective of Trent, Mike is. I loved Edison, and his soft heart and how he just is with everyone, and I CANNOT wait to see what’s going to happen with Rayne and Mike, hello, their whole interaction was HOT. I also hope we get to see more Elton, aka, El. I have a feeling they’re all going to be just as amazing and the rest of this series has been so far.
I cannot wait!
So, if you like a little angst, some very hot anticipation that is guaranteed to deliver, and a very sweet happily ever after, don’t pass this one up. You’ll love them as much as I do, I promise!
5 pieces of eye candy