Two years ago, Hunter Riley was ghosted by his long-term boyfriend, then stuck with a ruined reputation when the town mistakenly thought he’d cheated on his ex… a man fighting breast cancer. These days, Hunter is happiest simply taking care of the sick kittens he fosters and rarely leaves his house.
Add one sunny man healing from loss…
Quinn Sullivan is alone in the world but doesn’t let it get him down. He dealt with the grief of losing the last piece of his family by looking to the future, finishing college, moving to a new town, and hitting reset on his life. An instant connection on a never-ending blind date has him ready to move in with Hunter and Quinn can’t see anything possibly ruining it.
To equal a pair who find even instalove requires time and patience.
Life can always catch you off guard, as Quinn discovers when child services arrives with an adorable angel—a piece of his lost twin he didn’t even know was out there—needing a family, needing… him. While Quinn is floundering with his parenting role, Hunter is left thinking he’s been ghosted again until Quinn comes up for air and sets things straight.
Can two guys who fell together so easily have what it takes to build a family?
This is the eighth and final book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town. Watch out for a three-year-old with an addiction to daytime TV, a diabetic kitten, and the worst wedding interruption ever. This is an mm romance full of all the fun, laughter, and sweet feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.
Note: The book mentions the death of a sibling through suicide in the past, but no details are on page.
We lay there quietly for a minute or two before Hunter sat up and pressed a sweet kiss to my lips. “Be right back. We both need counseling after this conversation, and I have the best kind in the other room.”
As he dashed down the hall and returned, I lay there, wondering what he had in mind. It didn’t matter. I trusted whatever he came back with would make me smile. Sure enough, I was smiling as soon as I heard the sound of a happy kitten. With the lights dimmed, I couldn’t see who he was holding until he got closer, but I could sure hear those loud, rumbling purrs. It was crazy how a tiny kitten could make so much noise when content.
Hunter carefully got back into place, then passed Humphrey into my hands, while keeping Lady Margaret for himself. Nuzzling the little gray kitten and running my hand through his soft, silky fur was indeed the best kind of therapy. As we lay there talking, cuddling the kittens and connecting with both them and each other, I realized maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t alone in the world anymore.
Glancing at Hunter, from the sense of peace flowing through my body, I knew putting a label on things was the correct decision. “So… I was thinking about this whole boyfriend thing. It feels right, but I was thinking maybe we should slow down and enjoy the ride, since we got together so fast.”
“Sounds reasonable, as long as by ‘going slow,’ you don’t mean our sleepovers have to stop. Or the fun stuff like you pinning me against the door and kissing me stupid because that was worth waking up with the sun.” His smile turned into a yawn, proving Hunter was still tired himself.
The thought of skipping the fun stuff at this point was ridiculous, so I was quick to shake my head. “Yeah, no. I definitely don’t, not in the slightest. No, I was thinking maybe we wait before going further. Maybe if we put off making love until we know we’re solid, we could even consider getting tested and skipping condoms altogether. Unless you wouldn’t ever be into the idea, in which case, forget I said anything. The going slow part, I do mean.”
Hunter’s jaw slackened, his eyes widening as he considered it. “I’ve never gone bare. You really picture us being so committed?”
I didn’t even need to think about my answer. “Yeah, I really do. I don’t know what quirk of fate dropped us into each other’s laps, but I feel like this is the right time, and you’re the right person for me to build my forever with. I don’t want to screw it up by hurrying.”
Expression softening, Hunter leaned over to kiss my cheek. “I’ve never heard anything so romantic in my life. Yes, so much yes to all of the above, except the part where I forget you said anything because you would erase my yes. You’re definitely worth waiting for, Quinn. We can take it as slow as you want. There are plenty of fun things we can do in the meantime.” He kissed me again before rolling onto his back to snuggle Lady Margaret some more.
As Humphrey fell asleep, I carefully moved him onto the pillow and rolled onto my side, scooting back enough to make room for the tiny furball. Hunter lifted up, double-checking Humphrey’s safety before scooting him a few inches. Lady Margaret jumped onto the pillow, protectively curling herself around Humphrey with a loud purr.
“Aww, I was going to ask you to consider letting me have Humphrey when he gets old enough to be adopted, but if you’re keeping the little lady, you might need to keep them both. She’s the perfect big sister.” Frustrated now, I petted the baby with the back of my finger, picturing the thirty-day notice I’d found in my apartment. “On second thought, I can’t adopt him anyway. Apparently, I’m going to be moving soon.”
Alarm flashing through his eyes, Hunter jerked to look at me. “Moving soon? What’s going on?”
“They sold my apartment complex, effectively breaking everyone’s leases. There was a notice on my door when I stopped by my place to grab some clothes. I would’ve told you sooner, but I completely forgot until this very moment. To be fair, I’ve been a bit distracted since I got here, and I really do need to get some sleep. When I wake up, I’ll have plenty of time to worry about where I’ll be living at the end of the month.”
Yawning again, Hunter nodded, slipping a leg between mine. His head rested against my arm, hand gripping my side. “My mom’s a real estate agent, but she also deals with a lot of rentals. I’m sure she can help you find something. I wouldn’t worry about it.”
“Sounds good, thanks. And if it’s a sneaky way to get me to meet your mom, I’m good with an introduction too.” I was sleepy as hell, but not tired enough to miss a chance to tease him. Hunter’s blushes were too cute. I could already see myself wanting to tease him as often as I could simply to see those cheeks get red.
Closing my eyes, I started to drift off when Hunter gasped, his grip tightening on my waist. “You should move in here. I have a spare room. Why pay rent somewhere if you’re sleeping at my place anyway?”
I was instantly and fully awake, my eyes popping open. “Umm, Hunter? No offense, babe, but isn’t me moving in the opposite of us taking things slowly?”
I’m coming in late, reading the last one first, but I read the blurb and it didn’t register right away, but that’s okay… I don’t feel like I missed a whole lot that wasn’t explained perfectly to bring me in. I am intrigued by this Matthew family though, who doesn’t seem so nice in this one…so perhaps I’ll go back and give them a read.
In saying that, we have a quick burn here, with a little bit of insta-love, but I have to say, it works for Quinn and Hunter… It felt real with them and not forced at all.
It all starts when Hunter, who is fostering some sick kittens, has a wedding coming up that his sister thought she’d help him out by finding him a date… through a dating app.
To attend his ex’s wedding…
Who lied about him so hardcore, it made half the town treat him terribly….
Luckily, the date ended up being a great sport and though Hunter and his ex did get a little bit of closure, I was disappointed that Hunter didn’t get any karmic justice, I know I sure would’ve!
So, as their first date extend into a week of a never ending date, I had to say that the two of them were so cute together, it felt like they’d always been best friends, even from the very beginning, and it’s that just the best kind of relationship? Where the other person is your best friend?? It just worked.
Unfortunately, it isn’t without a little bump and I’ve got to say that Hunter had more faith than I ever could because I would’ve thought the very worst when Quinn disappears after a perfect week and though I won’t spoil anything else, I will say that I’m glad they worked it out like adults and Hunter was mature and trusting and not at all psycho, like I would’ve been LOL
Overall, it was a very sweet, short-story that seems to be the final book in the series, but it made just want to go read the rest of them…
4 pieces of eye candy
As an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.
I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly.
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