Colin Baker came home to Cedarwood after a disastrous relationship. Growing up, he felt firsthand how unwelcoming Cedarwood was to anyone who identified as GLBT. If it wasn’t for needing his brother’s help raising his seven-year-old son, he wouldn’t have come back.
Jordan Hargrove is a police officer back in his hometown of Cedarwood after his mom died and left him her estate. Growing up, Jordan was tempted to come out of the closet for the chance of being with Colin, but because of the homophobia that plagued his community and some personal issues he was dealing with, he became one of Colin’s tormenters.
When Jordan pulls over Colin and gives him a ticket, he is surprised to find himself still attracted to Colin. Determined to make what happened back in high school right, he seeks out Colin. While the two men work to reacquaint themselves with one another, there is an active movement within the town to run out those who are GLBT. They keep upping the ante in their attempt to rid the town of those who supposedly threaten the moral fiber of Cedarwood.
The former tormenter to lovers themed books are usually one of my favorite tropes in gay romance. In this book, Colin had crush on Jordan and hoped that his coming out would convinced Jordan to follow suit. Instead, Jordan chose to join along with his tormenters, making high school miserable for Colin. Now they are adults and both back in the community where it all started, and where the members of the GLBT community are still fighting against the homophobia that plagues the town.
While I think this was a great plot, I think it fell short of its potential. While the book is a shorter novel, it’s one of those books that you wish was longer so that it felt more realistic than it was. I expected Colin to feel some anger or hurt about what happened in high school, and while initially he did, he dropped it the second Jordan proclaimed his feelings for Colin. Everything seemed rushed.
Overall, if you are looking for a book without much personal conflict, this may be the book for you. For me, I prefer books where there is plenty of emotional conflict. With this book the conflict going on is restricted primarily to Colin and Jordan against the homophobes in the community, rather than either of them struggling against one another in the relationship.