Cole is getting ready to leave for a holiday ski trip with his boyfriend of six months when he gets dumped at the airport. When Jeremy’s ex shows up and proclaims his love, Jeremy takes off, leaving Cole alone just a couple weeks before the holidays. Cole knows he was Jeremy’s rebound guy, something that made their relationship unlikely to work. And there were definitely signs that things weren’t great between them. But still, this is just the latest in a string of wrong men and unsuccessful relationships.
Cole decides to stop in his neighborhood bar to drink away some of his troubles, when the sexy bartender/owner Owen catches his eye. Owen is always friendly and warm and has a smile for everyone. Cole has noticed Owen before, and definitely finds the man attractive, but never really pursued anything with him. But when Cole helps Owen out of a jam and it leads to breakfast and more conversation, Cole surprises himself by admitting that he is down about the breakup. Owen likes Cole and wants to help out, so he suggests that the guys have a series of outings to help take Cole’s mind off the breakup in the days leading up to Christmas.
Both guys are trying to convince themselves this is just a friends thing. But the more time they spend together, the more clear it is that the guys are attracted to one another. However, Owen is dealing with some family stuff that is causing lots of stress, but he doesn’t feel like he should burden Cole by sharing it. And Cole is realizing that he is falling for Owen, even though he knows this is another rebound relationship that can never last. Yet as the holiday grows closer, both men realize that they are hoping there can be more between them than just friendship.
Rebound Remedy is a sweet, light holiday story. If you are looking for a feel good, easy read, then I think you will like this one. Both Cole and Owen are likable guys and I enjoyed their adventures and seeing them get to know one another. Owen in particular is a big caregiver, stepping in to run the bar when his dad got sick and caring for Cole during his rough time. When he deals with his own family difficulties, Owen’s instinct is to keep it from Cole, not wanting to burden him further.
Despite the break up being what brings these guys together, this story is pretty low on angst. Cole goes from breaking up with Jeremy to hot for Owen in a day. They move from friendship to a sexual relationship quickly and easily. And despite some last minute minor conflicts, the story mostly focuses on the guys hanging out together. We don’t get to know either of them too deeply, and things move pretty fast between them. While Cole recognizes he is moving too quickly with Owen, that doesn’t stop him from doing it. There is pretty much no introspection into what has gone wrong in this string of bad relationships and how he can help address it in the future. Also, Cole notes that he was always in caregiver mode with Jeremy and how much he disliked that, but in his relationship with Owen he takes almost the opposite role, with Owen taking care of him and shielding him from anything negative. I kind of was looking for signs of a more even relationship. Either Cole is still grieving his breakup, in which case why is he getting involved in anther relationship, or he is over it and ready to move on, and then doesn’t need quite so much coddling.
All that said, this is a still a sweet, easy story. It is a quick read and a nice choice if you are looking for light story to curl up with this holiday season. It is sweet and sexy and a nice holiday book.
P.S. Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.