One man looking to set down roots, the other looking to leave…
Fresh out of a relationship, Nate’s searching for a change—what better way is there than renovating his uncle’s old coffee shop in Chesapeake City? He has a new job, in a new town, and a new lease. And when he almost runs over his hot neighbor, Linc, who happens to be his contractor? Well, based on the explosive attraction between them, maybe he’ll find something new there too.
Linc’s been treading water ever since his wife passed away in childbirth, focusing all of his energy on raising his son, Beckett. The obvious solution? He needs to get the hell out of Chesapeake City. But when Nate charmingly fumbles his way into Linc’s life, he finds his defenses lowering for the first time in years. One date leads to another, and hell, this man makes him feel in ways he’d forgotten.
Even though Nate just finished piecing his heart back together, he falls fast. Yet Linc’s made it clear he’s a bad bet. The man hasn’t clicked with anyone since his wife, and if Nate ends up being “not enough” again, that won’t shatter just his heart—the fragile home he’s trying to build in this town will crumble too.
Title: Stronger Than Hope
Author: Katherine McIntyre
Series: Chesapeake Days, #1
Genre: Gay Romance
Release Date: March 5, 2022
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Cover Designer: BookSmith Design
Linc stood, and Nate took that as his cue, rising beside him. A second later, Linc slid in front of him and glanced back. The corner of his mouth quirked in the faintest grin.
“Hop on,” he said, gesturing to his back. “I’ve got something to prove at this point.”
Nate’s mouth dried with want, even as his nerves took over. “No way, I’m not going to be responsible for wrecking your back. I need you to do the remodel on my business, remember?”
“Do it, do it,” Nico chanted behind him, like the devil incarnate.
Linc leaned forward a bit, knees bent at the ready. Goddamn, the man looked delicious, his defined arms as biteable as ever. Nate glanced over to Sarah, who offered a thumbs-up with a cheeky grin, and he rolled his eyes at her.
“Fine,” he murmured and placed his hands on Linc’s shoulders. Within seconds, the man grabbed his legs and hoisted him up. The strong grip around his thighs felt even better than he’d fantasized. Hoots and hollers sounded from the bar as he leaned in, his chest pressed against Linc’s back. The two drinks had nothing to do with the way his mind dizzied right now.
Linc began to carry him out, moving forward with steady strength he should’ve expected, given the man’s livelihood. Nate settled against him, his body lined flush against Linc’s, thighs wrapped around his hips. He dug his fingers in a little tighter as Linc hoofed down the stairs with him on his back. The bumpy way his crotch brushed against Linc’s back had his cock growing hard, something he’d be more mortified about if he didn’t have the pleasant buzz of alcohol numbing him. Nate let out a helpless laugh at the ridiculousness. He’d never expected the spontaneous move from Linc, but damn was it hot.
Hello, hot cover!
I love a good single dad story and this one didn’t disappoint.
Linc has lived in the small town of Chesapeake Bay his entire life. Married his high school sweetheart and had his whole life planned in the town where his parents lived, and his parents parents lived and he was all set to live the rest of his life with his little family forever. However, life doesn’t always work out the way we intend for it to and the loss of his wife during the birth of their son had him stuck in a familiar cycle of casual hookups when the need arose, but otherwise, he was just trying to survive being a single dad in a town where everybody knows everybody and their mama’s.
I live in one of those tows so it was all too relatable LOL
What Linc isn’t prepared for, is the new neighbor, new job that he’d just signed on to, and being completely charmed and smitten with the clumsy softy that is Nate McAlister.
Nate is new to town after an inherited coffee shop comes just in the nick of time. Still reeling from a bad breakup, Nate wasn’t at all looking for the butterflies in his stomach every time he runs into local handyman, Linc, or his adorable little boy that he knows Linc lives for.
The two kick up a quick friendship that naturally turns into a little more, though Linc is honest with about what he wants and how his very first priority will forever be his little boy.
Is that not the cutest?!
Don’t even answer, it is.
Unfortunately, moving on from a great love is hard. Finding a new normal is hard. Coming to terms with a new love is hard. Inviting that love to meet and know and love your child is hard. Figuring out your life after you already had it figured out and then refiguring it to include someone else… is hard.
And I admired Linc so much for how well he navigated it, even though, as an outside, I was like….nope, that’s not good, don’t do that…. a time or two… I knew he’d work it out in the end, and not only because Nate was so worth it and I knew that he knew that, but also because, you could feel how much he cared about Linc from the moment they met.
With every charming glint in his eye to the sexy smirks and the soft looks… even when he didn’t think he’d be able to give him more or even want more, he couldn’t help it.
I loved everything about this story, from beginning to end. I do wish we’d have gotten a smack down drag out with the old manager of the coffee shop but the satisfaction that we did get was enough LOL I’m just petty.
Overall, I adored this story and I cannot wait to see who’s next.
I reeeeally hope it’s Nico! <3
5 pieces of eye candy
What a fantastic story! The fact that Linc, after such a tragic beginning to his son’s life, was still raising his son in the town he grew up in, met and fell in love with his wife in and still had so many memories in, was such a challenge for him. And who could blame him for wanting to leave Chesapeake? He had spent his entire life there, and felt like the only thing left for him was a new start, where no one knew him.
Meanwhile, Nate was starting a new life as well, and needed Linc’s help to get his new start moving in the right direction. He falls for Linc fairly quickly, but Linc just doesn’t think he can ever get past the great love of his life, and certainly would never have another one. Also, Nate is just super adorable! (And definitely did not like conflict, which ended up leading to some huge conflict!)
This story was not just sweet (and definitely smokin’), it really did tell the story about how someone can be lost, and still continue through each day, until something wakes them back up. Linc was a person lost, just trying to keep himself afloat for his son. Meanwhile, Nate wormed his way into both Linc and his son’s hearts, even as Linc wasn’t aware it was happening.
This book really touched me with the depth of Linc’s pain, and his working out of it, without even knowing he was doing just that. Sometimes grief is a cloud that stays with us, until the sun peaks through and gives us a glimpse of a new day. Linc needed that, and seeing his unwillingness to try that seemed appropriate for his situation. He had lost so much, and just needed that sunshine.
Also, that mean old woman…she deserved so much more than she got…but isn’t that sometimes the way of life? 🙂
I just loved the story. 4.5 pieces of eye candy
Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes—and there’s an equally high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who’s always stepped to her own beat, she’s made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there, from different cultures and races to all varieties of men and women.
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