Tattoo artist Max Marshall rushes into his hometown of Sweetwater, West Virginia—and is promptly pulled over for speeding. Max’s luck isn’t all bad, though, because he recognizes the deputy, Tyler Reed, Max’s childhood best friend’s older brother.
Reconnecting with Tyler helps Max settle back in, and it also leads to attraction. But when he tries to explore that connection at the grand opening of his tattoo studio—by kissing Tyler—awkwardness ensues. Max wants more, but has he misread Tyler’s signals?
As a single father raising a six-year-old daughter, Tyler doesn’t have much time to date. He’s ignored his attraction to men for years, but he can’t stop thinking about the kiss he shared with Max. If he can handle the complications of dating in a small town and the possible consequences to his career, this romance could blossom with all the colors of summer.
Length: 71,000 words approx.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Design: Reese Dante
Cute story, low angst, plus a kid…
Max comes home to Sweetwater, WV (if that doesn’t give you a clue as to the cuteness level) and immediately gets pulled over by his best friend’s older brother. But from there they form a friendship, which Max tests with a kiss. Cue perceived straight boy introspection, worry about job (big manly men cops) and his daughter.
But they decide to forge forward slowly. Tyler because not only is this dating a guy thing new, he hasn’t dated in years. And Max, the proverbial bad boy tattoo artist who doesn’t commit. Well, I think he is supposed to be like that but doesn’t put up much of a fight when he ends up spending tons of time with both Tyler and his daughter.
The writing is a bit stuttery for me. (Yes, making up words again). Although I know this author has a few books under her belt, the writing just isn’t smooth. It was a decent story though. It kind of reminded me of a traditional Harlequin romance. Formulaic, sweet, some sexy scenes, the big drama to bring them closer, the misunderstanding, etc, etc.
There were a few things left hanging, some unresolved tiny plot points. I don’t want to say what they are because you might not even notice.
I’ll call this a good beach read. Easy to pick up and put down, you won’t get lost in the story, but you’ll still be entertained.
3 pieces of eye candy
Max (the tattoo artist) is back in his hometown after his mother suffers a stroke and he wants to be closer to home. I like how close he is with his family, his mom especially. Upon entering town, he gets pulled over by his old friend’s brother, Tyler.
Tyler is the cop (duh) and single dad. Should’ve been swooning my socks off, but his back and forth kind of wore on me. I get with his occupation and him being a single parent, that coming out and even accepting oneself would be a tricky log to hop over… I didn’t begrudge him that, but he didn’t feel confused about it to me, it was just yes I am, no I’m not, but I am, and let’s not bring it up again.
But, I liked these two together and their friendly banter and easy conversation, even from the very beginning was cute and felt real. I’ve never read this author before, but sometimes dialogue gets a little cringy just for filling space I fell like, and I didn’t get any of that from this story… It was low angst and slow moving, … I’m not emotionally confident enough to handle a bunch of drama in my happily ever afters.
I loved Max’s relationship with Juniper, I’m always a sucker for kids in these stories, because I too was a single mom, once upon a time and finding a guy to step in and be great with your kids is tricky and it doesn’t always work, but when a Tyler finds himself in a situation and Max moves in to help him out, I couldn’t help but fall in love with all three of them.
The only thing that really bothered me was Tyler’s view of his sexuality and the back and forth. I hoped he would seem more sure and it wasn’t just a convenience thing, because even though I could tell that they had genuine feelings for each other… and they become this happy family in the end, they didn’t even say I love you…. I kept waiting on it, and it never happened, so it felt unfinished to me. I dunno, maybe I’m being too picky.
3 pieces of eye candy from me
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the southwest of England and now lives in the Bristol, a city that embraces her love for the arts. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.
Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theater (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, and reading anything thatís put under her nose.
Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, prereading, and creative ass kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.