Two men. One sweet dream of family and forever.
Gabriel “Bull” del Toro loves his fast-paced globe-trotting job, but aches for an honest relationship and the trust that comes with it. After a few too many heartbreaks, he’s nearly given up hope of finding that special someone.
Born deaf, Ben is used to working twice as hard for what he wants, but risking a newfound friendship on an impossible dream is scary. After all, there’s one lesson he’s learned: everything is temporary—freedom, friends, even family.
Neither man expects the undeniable spark between them or for every moment together to fuel that connection. For the first time, a happily ever after is within reach, but they must trust that the dream of acceptance, family, and a place to call home is more than a sweet fantasy.
It can be forever.
A Sweet Man is an interconnected standalone within The Men of Halfway House series. It is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and never giving up on a dream. It includes wounded hearts, an age-gap romance, and enough cake and sweetness to give you a toothache.
Title: A Sweet Man
Series: The Men of Halfway House
Author: Jaime Reese
Release: June 16, 2020
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance (can be a stand alone)
Does it feel like it has been eleventy years since the last book? Is it just me? Well, it was Sept 2018, so coming up on 2 years. Guess what? Totally worth the wait.
Sometimes when a series of books starts to get long (this is book 7), the stories can become convoluted. This guy knows that guy who is interested in this one but his 2nd cousin dated him in high school, etc etc. And I will admit that there was one book in this series that was like that for me. I just had to disconnect in my head the connections. But this one felt more like independent characters who weren’t really connected to people from other stories. I mean, they were, but it isn’t integral.
We met Ben in a previous book. The shy, deaf guy on parole for a crime he was an unwitting accessory to. Then he gets popped again and thrown back in jail for the rest of his sentence. This guy really did nothing wrong. Except be in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people.
Once he is released, again, he has to go to a halfway house. He is embarrassed and feels like he let down Matt and Julian (who run THE halfway house) so he chooses another one. That didn’t even last 24 hours.
Back where he knows people- who know sign language- Ben is more comfortable. But trying to find a job is a challenge. Being deaf, his choices aren’t plenty. Until Aidan (the connection between books) suggests his friend’s sister’s bakery. Their grandfather was deaf, so they are fluent in ASL.
Aidan definitely had alterior motives though. Mainly his friend Bull- brother of the bakery owner. Aidan is playing matchmaker.
A tentative friendship begins that Ben doesn’t want to risk with more. Finally he has people in his life that understand him, can easily communicate with him AND don’t coddle him.
This is a slow burn but so worth it. Because of the slow burn, we really get to know each man as they get to know each other. The restrictions around Ben’s stay at the halfway house also make them take more time together. When Ben confesses one of his secrets to Bull and Bull offers to help…just swoony.
Ben grows so much as a person, gaining confidence in his job, in his friendships and his relationship with Ben. Learning to stand up for himself and not always being a people pleaser. You just want to cheer him on.
Bull also has to stand up for himself. Which he does, with Ben right by his side.
Oh, and there is some drama and police are involved and characters from other books come in to help, etc. etc. 😉
It is obvious that the author took the time to really understand life as a deaf person. Especially a deaf person who relies on reading lips and typing notes with most people. It is exhausting mentally. Even with ASL how you create personal signs for names or to say something to each other.
I really loved this book. It might be my favorite of the series, but I have a soft spot for deaf characters.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.
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