lumber & lawRating: 3.75 stars
Buy Links: 
 Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

For six months, Jesse Brody has sat in the park every Sunday to catch a glimpse of Troy Evans, although he’s only known the man’s name for three of those months. After his twin’s attack, Jesse was introduced to Detective Troy Evans, the man responsible for catching the crazy woman who’d tried to kill Jesse’s brother. And ever since, Jesse has wanted Troy. But it’s not that simple.  Jesse has been attracted to men before, but he’s never actually dated one, never even hit on a man. But as he’s trying to get the nerve up to finally talk to Troy, the choice is taken away from him when the detective’s dog tries to make friends first.

After their chance meeting in the park, Troy is hesitant to let Jesse leave without asking him out, but Troy is not out at work and getting involved with Jesse could be career suicide. But when they happen to meet again and end up sharing dinner, the chemistry between them is too strong to deny. Troy knows that the relationship between them will be more than a one-night stand, so he lays his cards out on the table. He wants a relationship with Jesse, but their relationship can never come out of the closet.

Jesse agrees to Troy’s terms, but as his feelings grow for the detective, he wants to introduce Troy to his family, take him to events, and go on dates. Troy wants Jesse, but he’s not sure if he’s ready to turn his entire life and career upside down for him. But when he makes the wrong decision, Troy is forced to evaluate what is truly important before it’s too late.

Lumber & Law is the second book in Jena Wade’s Shoes & Ties series. This book lets us into the lives of Jesse, Ashten’s twin, and Troy, the detective who helped Ashten and Trent in Shoes & Ties, the first book in this series. This book was a little different than the first. It was sweeter without the mystery. I was a little disappointed by that. I was hoping with a detective and all we could at least have a little bit of that sexy mystery-solving action, but not so much. That’s not to say this story wasn’t good. It was. It simply wasn’t what I’d expected.

So, I really liked these characters in book one, but even more so now. Jesse is strong, probably stronger than he gives himself credit for. Once he has something in his sights, he goes for it. He’s on shakey ground here, as his relationships with Troy is his first with a man. But his journey from worried about making the wrong move to confident in who he is and what he wants is quite nice. Troy is the opposite. He knows who he is and what he wants. He’s a gay man working in a straight, mostly homophobic career and he wants to remain that way so he makes sure he’s not discovered. His journey begins on stable ground and makes its way to a shake foundation when he realizes he wants Jesse forever but is afraid to risk his job. I think I enjoyed Troy’s journey the most because he basically caused his own heartache. He made mistakes but he wasn’t afraid to admit he’s wrong.

The writing was decent—a little more telling and less showing, but not bad. The flow and pacing were good. And the storytelling was nice. It’s a good story from a relatively new author.

So, yes. I like this one, not as much as the first, but I like it all the same. I look forward to seeing what this author has coming up in the future.

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