James has never had a real relationship. Determined to prove he wasn’t gay, he slept with a girl when he was fourteen years old, only to become a full-time dad at age fifteen. As a single parent, James has struggled to finish high school, complete a training course, and put a roof over their heads. Now, as his son gets ready to head off to college, James realizes that he’s devoted his entire life to ensuring his son had everything he needed.
Gabriel Juarez is the CFO of a technology giant with his two college roommates. Good looking, charming, wealthy, and a workaholic, he’s had a string of boyfriends who only stick around because he’s too busy working to ask them to leave.
James and Gabe’s paths cross when Gabe is giving a series of lectures at the college where James works as an IT supervisor. When Gabe’s high tech laptop doesn’t work with the outdated projector, James has to sit through his lectures to provide a temporary fix when it freezes up. As their friendship begins to heat, are these two lonely soles looking for just a temporary fix, or can these two men from different sides of the tracks make it work?
This is a total Cinder-fella story line and I absolutely loved it! James and Gabe meet when the computer and projector keep freezing up while Gabe is giving a lecture. Much like the outdated projector, James lives a life where if it’s broke, you keep fixing it until it cannot be fixed any more. Struggling from paycheck to paycheck, anything extra he has goes towards his son’s college fund in case the scholarships don’t pan out. Gabe, on the other hand, is much like his fancy new laptop where he has money to throw away. He has a driver to take him to and from places, a garage full of cars that he uses only on weekends, and is known personally at pretty much every restaurant where the dinner entrees cost more than James’ entire monthly food budget.
I fell in love with James from the start. Questioning his sexuality when he was a teenager, he tried straight sex once and found himself fighting for custody when the girl’s parents tried to put the child up for adoption without his permission. Finishing high school while toting around an infant, managing to make it through a training program, James was able to provide a home for him and his son. Driving around in an old jalopy named “Lemon Drop,” living in a tiny apartment in the low income section of town, his social life consists of watching telenovelas with the women in his apartment building and an occasional “concert” at the local amateur night. Though openly gay, he’s never had time for relationships. His occasional dates might have ended with a kiss at the door, but most of his dates typically headed for the hills when they realized he was a single dad. When his son, Dylan, pushes him to start dating, James relents and agrees to go out with a teacher from his son’s school.
Gabe is the CFO of a major technological company. Lucking out in college by being forced to room with two computer geeks, the three started a company that has made them some of the richest men in America. While he has been in several relationships, his primary focus has always been on building the company. As his two partners push for him to slow down and start to enjoy the fruits of their labor, he considers dating again and agrees to go out with a friend of a friend.
When both their dates end in disaster, the two commiserate together. While they are from different worlds, the two quickly strike up a friendship, then more. As the two men navigate the relationship waters, they both have to learn how to be in a relationship.
Part of that relationship includes sex. James has only had intimate relations with the girl he knocked up when he was fourteen. Now age thirty-two, Gabe is determined to help him make up for lost time. At times, James is quite shy and unsure, but Gabe is able to draw him into being eager and responsive.
The secondary characters really help to bring this book alive. James’ co-workers help to show us as readers what type of person James really is. Gabe’s assistant and co-owner friends help nudge Gave into letting go of the tight hold he has on every aspect of the company and start having a personal life. My favorite secondary character though was Dylan, who doesn’t want his father to be alone when he heads off to college.
There is only one thing I didn’t like about this book and that was that I wasn’t prepared for the cliffhanger ending. While readers will get a happily for now ending, be warned that you will have to wait until the next book to see if there is a HEA.
Overall, I loved this book and cannot wait until the second in the series comes out! Highly recommend.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.