Lobsterman Harper Cook is honest as the day is long. He’s also shy, quiet, and a forty-year-old virgin. He knows he’s gay, and he’s told his brothers (who also work the lobster boat with him), but he’s never really admitted it out loud. When his brother talks him into posing for a Men of Maine calendar to benefit the elementary school, Harper reluctantly agrees. And then he meets the first grade teacher in charge of the endeavor, “out-of-statah” Sean Blackburn. Harper is instantly attracted to the man, and runs because he just doesn’t know what to do with those feelings.
Sean is from California, and he’s confident and sure of himself. He tracks Harper down, and when the interest is made clear, the two men begin dating. For Harper, it’s zero to sixty and he doesn’t quite know how to handle it. But Sean is sweet and gentlemanly and Harper finds himself wanting to shout it from the rooftops. Slowly and surely, they intertwine their lives. When Sean takes the big step and asks Harper to move in, Harper doesn’t know what to do. But fate once again steps in, and a series of events shows Harper just how far he’s come. He loves Sean, and he’s ready to live his life with the man.
Oh you guys, I really enjoyed this story from beginning to end. Right from the start, I was captured by the reticent, shy, awkward Harper. In his small town, he fits into a comfortable box, and he’s spent his life there. Harper is happy there, mostly, and he has no real desire to change it. His brothers push him to be more outgoing, but that’s just not Harper. I loved him and the way he grew into his confidence. Even at forty, he’s still finding out about himself and what he wants out of life.
Sean is a breath of fresh air for Harper. He’s had his own troubles in the past, and he moved to Maine to make a new start. He’s funny and outgoing, and slowly and patiently coaxes Harper out of his shell. Not only that, but Sean is just genuinely a good guy. He knows that Harper has zero experience, and he’s happy to teach Harper anything he wants to learn. These guys are truly the perfect match.
From the moment they meet, their chemistry just sparks off the page. Seriously, these guys connect on a basic level and even though their relationship is easy, it makes complete and total sense for who they are. I loved that there wasn’t any heavy angst here, just two guys finding each other at the right time, jumping into a relationship, and making it work. And when I say they have chemistry, I mean it. They are affectionate and tender with each other, and it reads in their every interaction. Their banter is playful and funny, and I found myself smiling often. And when they get to the sexy times? Sparks really fly. The intimate scenes are hot and just so perfect.
This book, though in third person, is told entirely from Harper’s POV. And this made sense, as he was the one that had the growing and changing to do. But I also felt I was missing a little bit of Sean throughout the book. While he’s open and honest with Harper, so we get to know him fairly well, I would have loved to see some of this through his POV. While it wasn’t a huge detriment by any means, I think it would have added just a bit more for me. But since I loved Harper, I didn’t mind too much, though it’s worth a mention.
But I really just enjoyed this one. Chase has a way with words that really paint the perfect picture, and I loved all the little extras elements she added in. I felt like I was there in the moment with every scene. Well written, lovely characters, and a solid plot all combine to make this a great read. Definitely recommended.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.