Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Sometimes it helped not to expect too much. That way it was harder to be disappointed.
After years of abuse at the hands of his mentally unstable, alcoholic father, Justin Foster has finally gotten out from under his father’s hand. Across the mountains to Seattle then southbound to the small coastal town of Rock Bay, Justin is looking forward to a new start in a small town living with his aunt, uncle, and cousin. If only the fear of his father looking for him, finding him, and dragging him back home would go away. In a new place with a new job and people who care about him, Justin begins to let his guard down a little. That is, with everyone except for his co-worker, Logan. His immediate attraction to Logan proves to be problematic when Justin doesn’t know how to act around the straight jock. After all, his experience with men like Logan hasn’t been all that great
Logan O’Brien doesn’t get it. Since the first day he met Justin all he wants is to be closer to the beautiful man, but Justin seems to hate him. He’s friendly with everyone who comes through the coffee shop…everyone except Logan. And he knows that the fact Justin is the first man Logan has ever been attracted to should be a problem for him, yet it’s not. And Logan won’t be dissuaded. Always the one that his friends lean on for comfort, Logan can be patient and persistent. He’s determined to make Justin his friend if nothing else.
Just when a tentative friendship begins to form between the two men, Justin’s father comes looking for him. Afraid that Justin will run and Logan will lose the chance to really get to know the younger man, Logan offers him the spare room in his new apartment. In such close quarters, Justin and Logan build a lasting friendship. As their attraction grows, Logan makes the decision that if anything happens between them Justin will have to be the one to make the first move. Justin knows what he feels for Logan is only fantasy and can be nothing more. After all, Justin is straight. But the attraction does go away, and each man is forced to decide whether taking the next step in their relationship is worth possibly losing their friendship over.
I love this book. I love this book! No, I’m not trying to convince myself. I’m simply trying to get the point across that this story is fabulous. I have been dying for Justin’s story since his small introduction in Letting Go. And I love Justin and Logan together. Their story is a sweet acquaintances-to-friends-to-lovers story. They could not be more perfect together. Justin is scared, broken, and lost. And Logan is patient, caring, and protective. That’s not to say that Justin is weak. He’s tortured, but has a quiet strength, a subtle bravery. And Logan cultivates that, helps Justin heal, helps him grow. Justin is hesitant, wary of growing roots or making lasting connections. Logan is strong and nurturing, a grounding and stable presence. They couldn’t be more different, and that’s what makes them so perfect.
Now, I know that the gay for you trope is not for everyone, but I happen to be a fan – especially when it’s convincing. Here’s the thing – Logan grew up defending his best friend, who happens to be gay, from bullies. He’s super affectionate with all of his friends, even his gay friends. Logan is comfortable with himself and confident in whom he is. So to me, it’s not such a leap for him to fall for a gay man.
And this story, as with all of the Rock Bay series, is incredibly sweet. I love the hesitancy and tension that the author gives this story. I love the build-up, the expectancy. I also love the conflict and resolution, the healing that Justin experiences through the care of the people surrounding him, and the confidence he gains throughout the book. It’s a great journey from start to finish.
Finding Shelter is my favorite story in the Rock Bay series, so far. I love O’Shea’s ability to create such broken, lovable characters then present such powerful stories of healing and strength. Again, this story may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. It’s sweet, lovey and angsty and absolutely fabulous. I love this series, and most of all I love this book. I highly, highly recommend Finding Shelter by M.J. O’Shea, and I can’t wait for more of this series.
Note: The Rock Bay books are written as a series, but each story can be read in any order as standalone novels.