After a fire destroys his apartment, Diego has no choice but to move in with the person least likely to welcome him with open arms: Alex, the recently divorced, presumably straight guy who didn’t take kindly to Diego hitting on him at a friend’s wedding.
Unfortunately, Alex isn’t exactly in a position to complain about the living arrangements. After his wife cheated, he moved across the country to San Francisco to start over. The place he’s living in belongs to a friend, so when Jake also offers Diego a room, Alex needs to figure out how to deal with the exceptionally hot, sex-positive, queer youth counselor whose gaydar has picked up that Alex isn’t as straight as everyone thinks he is.
Forced to live in the same house, Alex and Diego are about as combustible as fire and gasoline. But when Alex’s thirteen-year-old comes out as trans masc and moves into the house with them, Alex begins to see another side of Diego, and Diego realizes this sullen, complicated man has a heart of gold that’s been stomped on a few too many times.
Once the walls start to come down, Alex and Diego realize they have a lot in common. Not to mention an attraction that blazes hotter the more they get to know each other.
Alex waited for Jesse to wind down.
“So,” he said, “you probably know some of what I’m going to say.”
“Yeah, Dad.” Jesse grinned and sat at the kitchen table, primly folding their hands on the surface. “I just want you to know that whatever you have to tell me, it doesn’t matter who you love, you’re still my dad, and I love you.”
Alex stared at his kid until they couldn’t hold back the laughter, and then he joined Jesse at the table. “I guess we are doing this a little backwards, huh?”
Jesse shrugged. “Doesn’t matter. I don’t want you coming out to me to suck as much as me coming out to Mom.”
“Thank you. So this is the part where I tell you that I’m bi, right?”
“Pretty much. And I ask, does Mom know, and is this why you guys broke up?”
“Yes, Mom knows, and no, it’s not why we broke up. At least not directly.”
“Are you going to tell her about Mr. D?”
“I think I’m going to have to.”
“You two have been like a couple since I got here. I kind of thought, at first, but it was weird because I had no idea that you…I mean, it wasn’t impossible, but…” Jesse suddenly blushed. “You guys gave off a certain…vibe. And Mr. D is really hot, so who wouldn’t want him?”
“What about me?” Alex asked and laughed when Jesse wrinkled their nose and shook their head. “Are you telling me my boyfriend’s out of my league?”
The mix of emotions that crossed Jesse’s face had Alex laughing even harder: surprise, embarrassment, but most of all, a confused mix of horror and shock. They scrambled off Alex’s lap. “Ew. Don’t make me think about the two of you…ungh. Just no. No!” They started for the stairs. “I’ve got some homework to do. Try to remember there’s an innocent child in the house when you’re with your boyfriend, Dad.”
Enjoyable book, but I feel like they should have focused on one or two things outside the budding relationship between Diego and Alex rather than a little bit of a bunch of sub plots.
Alex is newly divorced and moved back to San Francisco where he has friends from when he went to college. One of them has a beach front bungalow that is empty and offers it to Alex; he will also work on some renovations in the house.
Diego is a youth counselor at an LGBT+ center in the city. But when his apartment building burns down, he also moves into the bungalow until something better comes up. SF living is not cheap.
The forced proximity was what it was, nothing really new there. But then Alex’s oldest comes out as trans and moves across the country and in with him- and Diego. Luckily Diego has experience in this. Alex’s ex wife is a bit transphobic to put it mildly.
There are also subplots with a kid staying at the LGBT center, a new volunteer looking for a boyfriend from 40+ years ago, a house renovation that uncovers the history of a lesbian couple, one of which may have been trans, etc. There’s just all of these little things sprinkled about and while they all got closure, I don’t think any of them got the depth that they deserved.
The romance between Diego and Alex was fairly generic for a bi-awakening guy with an out gay man. It was nice, but nothing overly special.
This is book 3, but I read it as a stand alone. I don’t know if I enjoyed this one enough to go back and read the previous 2.
3 pieces of eye candy
Marie Sinclair is a queer writer living in San Francisco. Though she’s been a writer all her life, it wasn’t until she stumbled upon MM romance that she knew she’d found a home for herself and all the characters in her head.
Her focus is on contemporary romance, usually on the steamy side. While HEAs are guaranteed, it will always take some work for the couples to get there, and it might not look the way they expected at the beginning. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Marie believes in rooting her stories in the real world of queer culture and showing how love can survive even in challenging times.
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