Gabe D’Angelo is a wealthy man who’s come from Boston to Haven’s Cove to support his best friend. Thanks to his money and good looks, Gabe is used to getting what he wants…and what he wants is Nate Black. Gabe relentlessly pursues Nate, but Nate wants nothing to do with him.
Nate has come home to Haven’s Cove with his daughter, Lily, after living in Boston for several years. After a breakup that left him devastated, he wants to concentrate on his family and his job. He certainly doesn’t want to have anything to do with Gabe, especially because he believes he knows what kind of man Gabe is.
Eventually, the men start spending time together and they discover that they want to make a family together with little Lily. However, there are some nefarious forces working against them. Between their issues of trust, and Gabe’s father who is only concerned with appearances, they begin to wonder if they can make a relationship work. Gabe and Nate are going to have to decide if it’s worth the fight, or if they should just let go of each other and be alone.
I have to be honest. When I was offered the chance to review Hard to Get, I very nearly turned it down. I read and reviewed the first book in the Haven’s Cove series, Hard to Let Go, and I enjoyed it very much. However, I didn’t particularly care for the character of Gabe. I found him to be arrogant, and when it came to Nate, he progressed beyond flirting to downright obnoxious. Still, I decided to take a chance on this one and I’m glad I did.
Gabe was still hard to like here…in the beginning anyway. I was a little disturbed reading about Gabe’s constant pursuit of Nate and his rather raunchy sexual innuendo, not only to Nate, but to his best friend, Brody, and Brody’s partner, Owen. It was starting to reach the level of creepy. However, Gabe began to grow on me once he realized he was being an ass and started thinking of Nate as a man rather than a conquest.
Nate was better, but he was also difficult to like at the beginning. He came back from Boston with a daughter and a broken heart. To protect himself, he closed himself to the possibility of meeting someone to share his life with. He was especially unkind to Gabe because he believed he knew his type…spoiled, rich, and entitled. It turns out, though, Nate made these assumptions because his ex was like that. That made him a little more sympathetic to me. It helped me to understand why he was so leery of Gabe. What I particularly liked about Nick was his relationship with his daughter, Lily. He was an excellent father, and the love he had for her was palpable. The same goes for his parents. Not only was he a good father, he was a good son, and the Black family was lovely.
The plot of the story was pretty straight forward. It was all about Gabe and Nate chipping away at their defenses and falling in love. Sure, there were a few more things going on, but none of that was terribly important. I did love watching Gabe fall for not only Nate, but Lily as well. She was a delightful child and he was completely disarmed. Lily had everyone eating out of the palm of her hand, and it was adorable. It’s always a delicate balance with children in a romance novel. They can be written as overly precocious brats, or they can be written as behaving like tiny adults. The author captured a four-year old’s personality…tea parties, dolphins, stickers, and chocolate chip pancakes.
Both Gabe and Nate had had their hearts broken. Both situations were rough and contributed to the way the men approached their growing relationship. This was interesting to read, and compelling, but I thought it went a little long. I found myself thinking, “Get on with it already!” more than once. When the story finally kicked into high gear, it was smooth sailing.
There were a few background characters who played important roles in Hard to Get. I mentioned Brody and Owen, but there were also Nate’s parents. His mother was especially charming and she added a bit of comic relief without being obnoxious, and little Lily, of course. Nate’s father, Joseph, was a decent bad guy…a real piece of work. Finally, there is Jonah, a friend of the men, who is a little shy, and he’ll probably be one of the MCs in book three.
There was a bit of angst toward the end. I saw it coming and I believe it was a bit necessary because it can’t always be sunshine and roses, can it? It was heartbreaking, but it was solved quickly, so I didn’t feel like skimming. And speaking of the end, it wrapped up neatly, and I was very satisfied.
Now that it’s all said and done, I can say I fell in love with Gabe and Nate. They went from being difficult to like to strong, sweet heroes. I’m so glad I didn’t turn down the opportunity to read this book. I’m so pleased with it. I’m also looking forward to what the author will bring to book three. I’ll be excitedly waiting.