Six years ago, Dax laid dead on the side of the road after a motorcycle accident until a stranger brought him back to life. Initially angry that the man just didn’t let him die, Dax was given a second chance and intends to make the most of it. Going back to school, he managed to get his teaching degree. When he’s offered a job in the same school district where his accident occurred, Dax reluctantly takes the position.
Michael dreamed of being a doctor until the night he came upon an accident scene and held the dying man in his arms. When he is unable to save his own wife, Michael struggles with being a single parent to his son Jagger. With his in-laws breathing down his neck, Michael fears losing the only good thing left in his life.
In this slow burn romance story, Dax realizes that Michael is struggling to keep it all together. Being new in town, Dax decides to put his personal opinions about Michael’s lack of parenting skills aside and help the struggling parent. As the two form a friendship, Dax realizes that Michael is the man who gave him a second chance. Now it’s time to pay it forward and save Michael before its too late.
In this out for you romance story, Michael is a straight-identifying guy struggling to keep it all together after his wife died, leaving him as the primary caregiver of his young son, Jagger. Like most five-year olds, Jagger is full of energy and manages to get himself into situations that Michael fears reflects poorly on his ability to parent. When the new teacher in town befriends them, Michael finds himself questioning his feelings for the man who has helped make his life more manageable.
I loved these two characters together. Both of these men are seriously flawed, yet I found myself falling for them, warts and all. As the two begin to spend time together, their relationship gradually goes from strangers, to friends, to lovers in a way that felt natural.
Typically, I am not a fan of children in a story because they tend to take center stage, but in this case, it worked. Jagger is your typical kindergartener who is full of energy. He is the catalyst that keeps throwing these two together.
When Michael and Dax are together, you can feel the chemistry between them flying off the page. While most of the sexy scenes fade to black, I didn’t find myself disappointed because the romance blooming between the two was satisfying.
The major secondary characters include Michael’s parents and Michael’s former best friend (now Dax’s friend), Justin. What I liked best about these three was the fact that they just wanted Michael to be happy.
My only complaint about this story was the tension between Michael and his in-laws. It felt forced.
Overall, Sloan Johnson has done it again! If you haven’t read any of her novels before, you don’t know what you are missing. This story will pull at your heartstrings! I can’t wait for the next in the series. I highly recommend!
Note: Readers should be warned that this book may contains trigger – homophobia, suicidal thoughts/actions, and death.