Cam McGhee has spent his entire life in the very small, very insular town of Bitter, Texas. So even though he knew he was gay, he hid it. He played by the rules, dated LaVerne and married her, and spent the next thirty-five years living a lie. But after his wife passes, Cam gets a new lease on life. He goes to Austin to spend a few months “finding himself” at his children’s insistence. And though his first attempt at dating goes spectacularly horribly, he eventually meets Dave Montoya.
Dave is confident and sexy, and Cam can’t stop thinking about him. One date turns into more, and the two men really hit it off. But after a lifetime of hiding, Cam doesn’t know how to be out. Dave is patient and understanding and agrees to go at Cam’s pace. Three months together, and everything is going great.
But when Cam accidentally outs himself, his world comes crashing down. Faced with the everything he’s been dreading, Cam breaks it off with Dave and runs. But now that he’s had a taste of what life is with real love in it, he doesn’t know how to go back. And if he can convince Dave that he’s willing to try, then maybe he can finally have his happily ever after.
This book caught my interest and since I’ve never read this author, I was looking forward to the book. The older heroes really intrigued me, as we don’t see a whole lot of that in the genre. And there were definitely parts of this story that really worked for me. However, there were also some that didn’t. I ended up finishing the story with mixed feelings.
So I kind of had a hard time getting into the story at first. The beginning was slow for me. I think a large part is due to Cam’s hesitance. And while that definitely made sense for the character, I found myself wishing things would pick up. Cam is lost in his own head a lot and the story wasn’t as compelling as I hoped. While Cam’s struggle was clearly on the page, it also felt pretty wishy-washy, and so it was hard to really engage with the character at the beginning.
As the story went on, things got better in this regard. After meeting Dave, Cam’s hesitancy and thoughts had more of a frame. I found the pace of the story picked up and I really got into it. I loved watching Cam come into himself. For all that he was 54, he’s spent his life hiding and lying about a integral part of himself. Having lived his life in such a small-minded town, this made a lot of sense. But whereas in the beginning it just seemed as all talk, when he was with Dave, everything had much more meaning.
The two MCs have a lot of chemistry and they worked really well together. I liked the way they took things slowly and let that intense initial attraction grow. I loved their conversations and I really like seeing them come together. This story is told only from Cam’s POV, though, so I was missing Dave a bit. While he showed himself pretty well through Cam’s eyes, I didn’t get to know him nearly as well as I would have liked. So that part was missing for me.
The other thing going on here was the flashbacks. I’m not a huge fan of them in my books, because they don’t always work as well as the author wants them too. Here, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I liked that step back in time, and I liked seeing how Cam got to this place in his life. They flowed with the story, and I didn’t feel like I was pulled out of the book with them, which often happens to me. So in that way, they worked. But on the other hand, Cam’s thoughts during the majority of flashbacks were really repetitive and that got a bit tedious. So much so that every time there wasn’t something new presented, I got a little frustrated.
Overall, I liked the book, though I definitely had some issues with it. The characters were well drawn and I enjoyed Cam once the story really got going. But the pacing slowed too much at times, and I didn’t get to see everything in enough detail for me to really get involved. This book was a little hit and miss for me. I cautiously recommend it if you want to see two men in the middle of their lives getting a second chance at love.