It’s Daniel Finley’s 30th birthday and he just received a note telling him to come home. They are the words he’s been longing to hear for seven years from the man that sent him away.
Brantley Hayes thought he was doing what was best for Finn when he pushed him to leave Florida to attend law school in Chicago, although it wasn’t just Florida that Finn had to leave. Brantley severed their two-year relationship and neither man has ever truly recovered.
Brantley, by all accounts, is living the dream as he is a college professor on track for tenure and he lives on the beach in a gorgeous home. He knew the moment he saw Finn all those years ago that he was pretty much done for, but he tried to resist the allure of dating his student. Brantley knew Finn had so much potential and took it upon himself to alter the course of both of their lives.
When Finn returns to Florida, Brantley isn’t prepared for the sophisticated and confident man that Finn has become. He sure isn’t prepared for the emotional walls that surround Finn and getting Finn to let him back into his heart is going to take some work. But the clock is ticking and Finn has to return back to work and he has two weeks to get his Professor out of his head. If only his heart would get the message.
When I heard that there was going to be a spin-off from Ella Frank’s Temptation series, I was sold before I even knew who the characters were. Daniel, known as Finn to his friends, was introduced in Trust, but it is not necessary to have read that entire series in order to enjoy this one.
The set-up here is Finn being called home by the one person that he always wanted and never got over, and giving yourself over to this romantic notion makes the book work. At first glance, Finn is a cut-throat lawyer, but he carries this hurt around with him that has altered many of his decisions since that fateful day. Brantley, as well, is shown as the professional and calm professor that has it all together, but even though he pushed Finn away, he has struggled every single day with that decision, so what you see at first glance with these guys is not all there is.
Frank excels at the sexual tension. The men knew each other completely and they reflect on all of the ways they were acquainted and all of the surfaces they got acquainted on. But, that was never going to be enough as the scenes of Finn and Brantley first seeing each other and connecting again are amazingly written as the chemistry sparks from the page. Finn’s dirty mouth coupled with his confident demeanor sends Brantley over the edge and pushes every single one of his buttons, including ones he wasn’t even aware that he had. Finn has come to take what he wants on his terms and Brantley wants all of it any which way he can get it. A good portion of this book could be seen as an erotic fantasy as the men spend time reconnecting and Frank gets these guys dirty in the best of ways.
There are flashbacks overlaid with the present and we get much needed glimpses of Brantley and Finn in their early days, which set the stage for their history. We are offered an explanation from Brantley on just what he did and, while there was a selfless spin to it, I could have used a little more explanation as to why he waited so long to contact Finn again, as that wasn’t his original plan. The guys spend so much time reconnecting in bed that working out the other aspects of their relationship wasn’t as prevalent and, while I could have used a bit more on the relationship development end, everything else completely worked for an entertaining read.
There are two secondary characters that definitely have a story to tell and it was thrilling to see that Frank laid the groundwork for yet another book in the series. The greatest thrill may have just come from a glimpse of two special men and, although it was brief, it was overwhelmingly awesome.
Frank’s writing is clear, her characters are compelling, and she has a gift of allowing you to completely immerse yourself in the story. Finley is the perfect combination of romantic and tender and hot and filthy and is definitely a recommended read.