Robbie Chambers served his country and fought in the desert, but fear of the way he would be perceived caused him to make the worst choice of his life and shun the man he loved. And even after he was home, fear caused Robbie to hide behind a girlfriend. But a chance encounter with Cy McVeigh, dancing on the boardwalk, sets a new series of events in motion. Smitten with the beautiful Cy, Robbie breaks things off with the girl. And then meeting an injured man leads him to Candy Heaven and brings him face to face with Adam, the man he turned on. Robbie can finally begin to make amends, thought he feels like there is no way he can make up for what he did two years ago.
Cy is all about the temporary love, one night stands, and single encounters. Until he meets Robbie, and then he wants to take a chance on more. But he has no idea what Robbie has been through and what Robbie did, and when he finds out, things start to crumble for both men. Though Robbie has begun healing his hurt, both internally and what he’s caused in others, Cy and Robbie have to reevaluate if what they are starting is something they can both have.
But though they determine their relationship is worth fighting for, Robbie still has growing to do. Not in the least, he needs to start coming out to those in his life. And he knows that his family will not accept it. It’s that fear that’s led him for so long. But Cy’s love is all Robby have ever wanted, and he needs to be the man deserving of it. When the drama of friends and family threatens to batter them, Robbie and Cy need to lean on each other, and hold on to what they’ve found together.
This is the final book in Amy Lane’s Candy Man series, and I admit to picking it up for just that reason. Adam’s story began the series, and it was very fitting that it should be Robbie’s story that closes it out. The arc has come full circle, and I admit to worrying how Robbie could find redemption after what he did. But I should have known that Lane would bring it around and show us the other side of the story. This was a satisfying read, and a nice end to a good series.
Robbie broke my heart at times. Almost immediately we are shown his depths, and we see just what drove him two years ago to turn on Adam, and we see how much that has cost him. He’s been punishing himself for a long time for his actions, and I felt part of that was certainly justified. But he felt it so deeply, and he knew it was wrong. I liked that we got to see how he attempted to rectify the situation, but it was hard to see him hurting so much. He came a long way in this book, first by making amends, and then as he began to heal. Yes, Cy was a big part of that, but Robbie did the work himself.
I like the easy way these guys were together. They just fit. Their chemistry was explosive at times, sure. But more than that, they fit together on a deeper level. There was some love at first sight going on with them, and I liked that it was an impetus for both men to change their outlook. For Cy, whose life hasn’t been completely wonderful, it was about him learning to trust his gut and to finally allow himself to fall in love. These guys were easy together, and though their relationship took work, it all felt really believable.
I thought this was a fitting end to the series as well. Oftentimes, it’s not easy to bring an arc like this to a close. There are so many characters that need to play a part, but Lane handled it well. There’s even a great cameo by some beloved characters from another series that was very fitting. But there was a lot of accomplish in wrapping this series up. I think it worked well, and not only gave us Robbie and Cy’s story, but the epilogue left us with a sense that all will be well for the guys in this series.
I will admit to having some issues with Robbie’s parents. While their reaction was believable, and sadly, all too true, I felt like the final scene with them was a little overdone. In the same vein, I had trouble with Robbie’s father’s apparent turn around. He was pretty vocal about his views, and his reaction was vicious. For him to then sit down and have a conversation and ask the questions he apparently asked? I didn’t feel like it rang true. I also had a small issue with the way things ultimately finished, before the epilogue. I wanted to see a bit more of Robbie and Cy and how they dealt with things, and I felt they were just a bit unfinished. I think I felt like it was a little rushed, and I would have liked to see it explored just a bit more. The epilogue was fantastic, as I mentioned, and wrapped things up as a whole. But I felt there was a little something missing, and that it felt a bit rushed.
Ultimately though, I enjoyed this book and this series. This is a series that definitely works better when read in order. While a most of the pertinent information is in each book, the stories definitely build on one another. As I said, having started with Adam’s story, this book brings things full circle and gives closer where it’s needed most. If you like redemption stories, this one fits the bill. If you’ve been enjoying the series, then you’ll definitely want to pick this one up.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.