Rating: 3.5 stars
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Toby Prentiss has made a life for himself in English village of Stamford, a life he’s fought for since leaving foster care. His life hasn’t been perfect, but Toby faces each day anew and is proud of the man he’s become. After a string of unsuccessful relationships, Toby finds himself lonely with only his job as the general manager of the Duck and Drake Hotel and his right hand to keep him company. So lonely that he starts looking at his boss and friend, Simon, in a way he never thought possible. But then Rain walks into his life.
Rain Engle was hired to build the new bar for the hotel, but when he meets Toby, he sets his sights on the challenge Toby poses. After a kiss gone wrong with Toby, both men avoid each other, each certain that the other is a bumbling idiot. But when Toby’s friend is threatened and Rain witnesses Toby aiding in her rescue, he sees Toby in new light.
Toby’s past is far from spotless and Rain’s ex-boyfriend broke his heart and his trust. Neither man trusts easily and neither man is looking for a relationship. Then sporadic sex in the shed turns into real feelings. When life gets in the way, Toby and Rain find out what they are made of and who their true friends are.
The story here is good. I enjoyed the slow building romance between Toby and Rain. It was sweet. They have issues but they work through them well. Toby is damaged and jaded. He’s had a tough life and has worked hard to move past it, although he never quite moves past the stigma that seems to follow him around. Rain is a pretty straightforward guy. He’s caring, understanding, and giving… now. But he had his crazy days, his reasons for not bottoming. And the whole pole dancing thing? Yeah, I liked that. The thing I love about these guys is that they are both broken in vastly different ways, yet they find comfort and eventually healing in one another’s arms. They have good contrast and even better compatibility.
Like I said the story is good, it’s just very stop and go. When a problem comes up, it’s almost immediately solved, and then the author moves onto the next situation. The conflicts, though interesting, seem to always be resolved before the next shows up. It was a decent story, but it could have used some layering and some not-so-simple resolutions. I mean, the Japanese tourists just happen to be watching at the exact right time and then show up to defend Toby in the nick of time. It was all very easy. And then it was like there was some sort of competition: How many assholes can Toby be associated with in one lifetime? The answer is a lot. I mean, really? He’s like a dickhead magnet. It’s a wonder he gets out of bed for all the assholes clambering into his life. It was overkill. There’s some grit in the story and a couple of shocking secrets, but overall it is a simple story.
The writing is good, although I did have some issue with the uses of some words and/or phrases, but that’s more of a personal issue. Britain English doesn’t always translate to Deep South English for me. Outside of my personal issues with it, the dialogue is a little odd and awkward at times, and the pacing is super slow. There were a couple times I was hoping for something, anything to happen to capture my attention, but it’s all very mellow.
Overall, this is a decent book, but it does have its faults. I’m not saying you shouldn’t read it, we all have our different likes and dislikes, but it’s not a book I see myself picking up again. If you like slow building romances and characters with complicated pasts and dark secrets, you may very well enjoy Waiting for Rain by Susan Mac Nicol.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.