At the age of 26, Corey Preston owns a gym that’s on its way to becoming a success. He’s relatively happy, but he’s having some family issues and his pushy jerk of an ex actually works for him as a personal trainer. One rainy day, Corey goes into the alley to put some trash in the dumpster and discovers a handsome man trying to get some shelter. Corey feels drawn to the handsome stranger and brings him to his office to dry off and then takes him to the local mission for a hot meal and a place to stay.
Nick Sanders is on the run…seriously on the run. In fact, he is running so hard, he actually hopped a train to get away from his problems. Realizing he’s hurt people, Nick figures the only way to help them is to cut himself out of their lives. He winds up in Redding, California, wet from rain and trying to get some relief when a man comes outside, sees him, and is kind enough to take him to the local mission.
Nick tells Corey he’s a painter, and Corey hires him to paint the walls at the gym and design a mural as well. As the men begin to spend more time together, they discover they have a connection. Thanks to that connection, Nick actually reveals the reason he’s running from his family. Corey is very understanding and the men begin a tentative relationship. It’s not all sunshine and roses, though. Corey is experiencing some family issues of his own. Adding to that, break ins are occurring at the businesses around the gym,and Corey’s employees are suggesting Nick may be the culprit. Tension arises, and Corey and Nick have to decide whether they’re willing to fight to stay together or just let go before their hearts fall any deeper.
I was intrigued by the blurb for The Power of Two. I think it was the idea of Nick hopping a train that really did it. I’ve never seen that in a romance before and I wanted to see how it played out. I wasn’t disappointed. After Nick’s train ride, I was pleased to find a sweet love story with a bit of mystery and enough family drama to make Thanksgivings at MY house look like a visit to Mr. Rogers’ house.
Corey and Nick were well written, multi dimensional characters. I didn’t find a single flaw in them. They were sweet, likable, helpful, understanding, and sexy. I loved their immediate attraction to one another, and it was lovely watching Corey helping Nick come out of his frightened and guilt induced shell. As for Nick, I enjoyed how much he wanted to actually belong somewhere and live his life the way he’d wanted to all along. The men complemented each other on multiple levels, and I never got bored with (or by) them.
The plot was pretty straight forward. Boy meets boy. Boy likes boy. Boys encounter some trouble. Boys live happily after. I have to say the story was pretty formulaic, but that was absolutely fine. I don’t want to give too much away, but the reason Nick was on the run was interesting. In fact, I would have liked to have heard more about it. The mystery of who was robbing the businesses and the reason why was equally interesting. It took me a few guesses at the whodunit to get the answer and that was great. Lots of times, I guess right, and the rest of the story is boring. This wasn’t the case with The Power of Two. As I mentioned, there is some family drama involving both Corey and Nick. Nick’s is tied to why he ran, and Corey’s comes from his cousin’s terrible taste in men, HIS terrible taste in men, and the lengths he’ll go through to help the people he loves.
A number of background characters played a role in the book: Corey’s cousin Katie and Uncle Ed, Katie’s musclehead boyfriend Alan, Corey’s persistent to the point of jerkhood ex Dean, and a few various gym employees who, while not huge players, make appearances and help move the story along. All of them did exactly what they were meant to do. None of them were overwhelming or got in the way of the focus of The Power of Two, which is the love between Corey and Nick.
Everything wrapped up nicely in the end. The bad guys’ are caught. The family issues are taken care of. The gym is still a success and Nick’s career is taking off. I was completely satisfied with it and the epilogue. The Power of Two is a nicely written romantic and sexy story that will keep you engaged. It was a very nice way to spend an evening.