Grant Parnell has had a rough few months. His boyfriend cheated on him with his business partner, who was embezzling money from their interior design firm. Now Grant has to find a way to keep his business afloat with barely any money. In need of a break and some caring, he runs off to visit with his best friend, Ty. After hanging out with Ty and his friends, Dave Monroe in particular, Grant heads back to Melbourne to try and piece his life back together.
Dave thinks highly of Grant when he meets him, and when he gets the opportunity to take a three-month job in Melbourne, he takes Grant up on his offer of a place to stay. Rather quickly, Dave feels comfortable in Grant’s home. The attraction beneath their friendship slowly builds to more, until one night they act on it. Though things are a little uncertain between them, they both realize that they want more from the other than just a hookup or friends with benefits.
But though they have similar interests in their professions, their attitudes are different. Grant has worked hard to be a success, and he measures that in material things. Dave is all about doing what he loves and indulging his passion. Unintentional secrets become a wedge between them. And when Grant’s past comes knocking, it might all cave in around them. But what they have between them can withstand the conflict, if they can just give it a chance and trust in each other.
Rustic Moment is the third in the Rustic series. It technically works as a standalone, but it’s more closely tied to the second book than the second was to the first. As we get to see the first time Grant and Dave meet in Rustic Memory, it definitely adds to the story having read the one that comes before. Since I’ve enjoyed every book in this series, I can recommend reading them all in order. But if you want to just start here, you won’t be missing anything important.
Starr continues to give us lovely, consistent characters who feel real and relatable. This book is more MC-centric, and there is very little in the way of supporting characters. But Grant and Dave are so well drawn that they have no problem carrying the book to the end. I really liked being on this journey with them. The story is low on the angst meter, with just enough heavy emotion to give it heft. It worked really well for the most part.
Dave was a laidback guy, but he was no slouch. His passion for his job was wonderful to see, and I liked watching that translate to other areas of his life. He was a nice mix of passion and easy going, and the balance was really well done. Dave was my favorite of the two characters, because he was so solid. I just adored him from start to finish. I would have liked to understand his motivations a bit more, but he was such a go with the flow kind of guy that I had no problem following along on his journey. I loved the way he reacted to, cared for, and lusted after Grant. Their chemistry sparked, and they fit together so well.
I will say that Grant had moments where I wanted to smack him, and therefore he was just a bit harder for me to like. What was great was that I was supposed to feel that way. Starr crafted a guy who was so focused on certain things, he came off as an ass at times. But as the story progress, we got to see his layers and the reasons behind his actions. It was particularly well done, and by the time I got to the end, I felt I understood him much better. And that Grant had changed and grown into a better man, with Dave by his side.
That being said, I felt there were a few things about him and his character that were left unexplained. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I wished to have a little better understanding about some of the choices he made. I mentioned the plot line with his brother, and on the one hand, that ending was rewarding to see. But it also felt a little too pat, and I think, for me, if I’d had better understanding of his childhood, the ending would have been a little more powerful.
Again, Starr has given a great, solid read that was definitely a few hours well spent. I love the characters, and had that sigh of happy satisfaction once they’d gotten over the worst of their troubles and were moving into that well deserved HEA. I can easily recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a nice read filled with great characters and a low-angst plot.