Rating: 3.5 stars
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As young boys growing up in Tennessee, Rush Holden and Lincoln Huxley were best friends and then more. But they couldn’t be open about it and when things got too tough, Lincoln pulled away and pushed Rush out of his life. Rush and his sister left their tiny town and made a life for themselves in Chicago. But Rush is stuck in a relationship with a man who doesn’t inspire his passion, and still dreaming of Lincoln.
Lincoln found a woman to love, married her, and raised a family. But when his youngest goes away to college, the empty nest highlights the truth. Lincoln and his wife are amazing friends, but nothing more. They dissolve their marriage and Lincoln begins to be truthful about the part of himself he’s hidden for so long.
A chance meeting in Chicago brings Rush and Lincoln together again. And just like that, despite the twenty-six years that have passed, the men find the passion they had as teenagers. But living so far apart presents challenges and Rush wants to make sure that Lincoln isn’t settling. They were meant to be together, and now that they’ve grown up, they can be. They just have to find a way.
I’m a total sucker for reunited lovers, so as soon as I read the blurb for this one, I snatched it up. The second half of this book really highlighted all the things I love. For both these guys, it was easy to fall into a relationship because everything between them was right. On top of that, the author made it believable that they were both in a place where they could change their lives, mentally and financially. So I really appreciated that whole part, and for me, that was where the story took off.
Walker gives us two fleshed out characters that have their own hang ups, but are believable. Both Rush and Lincoln had a realness to them I enjoyed. I liked that they were all around good guys, but that each had flaws that made them human. They weren’t perfect, but they were good, and that made a difference. I enjoyed watching the story play out, and I was rooting for them to find their happily ever after. But I will say that the first half of the book dragged a bit fore me. The MCs were living their own lives. For Rush, that meant trying to make it work with a man who wasn’t right for him, and then moving on past that. Lincoln was still married to his wife, and while I appreciated very much that the two ended things amicable and wonderfully, I didn’t quite feel the connection between them that would allow me to believe they’d lived a happy life for twenty years.
The author intersperses much of the first half of the book with flashbacks to Rush and Lincoln’s childhood. On the one hand, it gave the reader the background about their relationship and how they came to the point in their lives they were at. But on the other, it slowed down the pace of the story for me and I had trouble really getting into these scenes.
My other big issue with the story was the copious amounts of telling. The whole book, which is told in alternating first person, read like the characters were telling the reader the story of their lives. There were scenes that were explained in a few sentences or, on occasion, a couple of paragraphs, instead of being shown. This made me feel like I was a step removed from the story and I couldn’t full engage with it. Had they been shown instead of told, it would have been a lot different. In this case, it worked against the story.
So as much as I enjoyed the characters and appreciated the way they finally found their HEA, I also had some issues with the style, especially in the first half. The story is good, but it missed something vital to really pull me in and get me absorbed. I’d cautiously recommend this book to all of you who love reunited lovers.