Can Luke learn to love the man who left him?
Headmaster Luke Lawson is committed to saving his boarding school before a cash crisis sinks it. He’ll do anything to keep it afloat, even if that means accepting help from the man who broke his heart at uni.
Nathan’s offer to teach for free could be a blessing as long as Luke can harden his bruised heart. That’s tough when they’ll need to share living quarters and have a history of hook-ups. But Luke knows being compatible in bed isn’t enough to build trust. It can’t be when Nathan has always left him before morning.
This time around, it feels different. Nathan’s work overseas has changed him. Touched him. Opened a locked chamber in his heart that Luke is beginning to think must have been bruised in the past too.
As pressure mounts, can Luke trust that Nathan’s committed this time—not only to his school but to a shared future with him long term?
♥ Featuring a second chance at first love in close proximity, Luke is the third standalone novel in the Learning to Love series. Set in England’s glorious county of Cornwall, each book has a fulfilling happily ever after. ♥
CW: Non-explicit mentions of childhood anxieties.
Oh how I have been waiting for Luke to get his happily ever after! Always so stoic, worried about the school and the students. He sacrificed everything he could for that school and those kids. He always seemed so grumpy in the previous books, but it was really the weight of everything he took on.
We finally get Luke’s background story when it is his turn to speak about career paths. What led him to that path was his background. The author is just so good with sucking us in to the pain and trauma without really telling us EXACTLY what caused the pain and trauma. I mean, from previous books we know what happened with Sol’s nephew and we learn about another student. But it is never explicit. It certainly doesn’t mean you aren’t going to feel it.
With all of this, Luke is trying to make something real with Nathan. The college friend/roommate/friends with benefits he has had for years. Nathan works with Syrian refugees normally so it isn’t like he is in England often. But Luke decided he was worth more than being a port in a storm. And Nathan agrees.
And of course he is still trying to save the school, especially since they sent an accountant to look over everything and he isn’t very positive about the outlook.
Luke and Nathan learn more and more about each other. Showing that their previous relationship wasn’t deep at all. But they both held back. Each for their own reasons.
Let me tell you this book hit me in the FEELS and made me cry more than once. I love a book that can make me feel so deeply, to think about the characters even after I’ve closed the book for the night and desperate for my 9pm reading time the next night.
This can be a stand alone, but really you need to read the first two. They are excellent as well, but Luke is my favorite.
4.5 pieces of candy
CON RILEY lives on the wild and wonderful Welsh coast, with her head in the clouds and her feet in the ocean.
Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that make them live and breathe.
When not people-watching or reading, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her — she’s probably thinking up new plots.
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