Seasonal firefighters Rod Beton and Travis Walker have been best friends since the third grade. They’ve always had each other’s backs. Rod began to develop feelings for Travis through the years, but it seemed Travis didn’t return those feelings. Now, living 300 miles apart, Travis invites Rod to his family Thanksgiving dinner. During that dinner, Travis announces his engagement to Lisa Harris and he asks Rod to be his best man. Rod sneaks away from the table, writes a note to Travis, and quietly leaves.
Travis can’t understand why Rod would leave until his sister, Abigail, tells him Rod is in love with him. Suddenly, Travis is torn and begins to wonder if maybe he does feel the same. Questioning everything he’s ever known, Travis takes an extreme step and then decides to go to Skagit, Washington to talk to Rod and see what could become if they decide to act on their growing attraction.
Now, the question is whether they’re strong enough to endure family expectations, Travis’ mother’s obsession, and what they want to do with their lives. It’s certainly not an easy road, but they’re determined to travel it together.
I was so excited to read this latest Accidental Roots series story. I’ve been reading and reviewing them here on the blog and I love everything about these books. I’ve often said I wished I could move to Skagit and become friends with all of the residents. While this is called an Accidental Roots book, it’s actually a stand alone taking place in the Accidental Roots universe. I think this is a great idea on the part of Elle Keaton, the author. Taking a successful series and branching out is an excellent choice.
I loved both Rod and Travis. I enjoy books where both main characters are fundamentally good men. Neither of them need to be redeemed in any way. They’re just a couple of guys who are on a journey of self discovery and love, and that’s exactly what we have here with His Best Man. I could actually feel their fear, pain, struggle, and eventually, relief in discovering they’ve loved each other all along.
I found the plot to be realistic and believable. The men are what I would consider to be regular guys…no billionaires, financiers, doctors, or lawyers. They had regular upbringings with regular families. Their feelings are genuine…Rod’s love and Travis’ confusion. It didn’t feel contrived. In fact, I would call it natural. The book had a flow that was seamless. The author’s writing style was smooth, and I never felt lost or confused. I also liked the way several characters appeared from the previous books in the series without having to give large amounts of exposition. They were just part of the story. I would say, without a doubt, a new reader wouldn’t have any trouble jumping into this one without having to read the previous six books.
I would consider Travis’ family to be very important to the story…his mother especially. She’s homophobic, didn’t like Rod after he came out, considered him a bad influence on Travis, and she’s positively obsessed with Travis getting married and having a family. She was absolutely unlikeable. She brought out feelings in me that weren’t very pleasant. However, I consider this to be impressive writing on the author’s part. She was fleshed out and quite well written. Her character took a rather shocking turn toward the end of the book, but it was perfectly dealt with and interesting.
I would also like to quickly add that I think the town of Skagit is a character unto itself. The residents are quirky, mostly supportive, and some aren’t very nice at all. They’re all part of a rich tapestry the author has been able to weave. I have mentioned I would love to move there, or at least visit, and make friends with everyone who lives there.
I think I should also talk about the chemistry between Rod and Travis. It was palpable from the beginning of the book. The electricity surrounding them hummed. Their first kiss burned. Their sex scenes were equal parts sexy and sweet. They supported each other through the adversity they endured, and their love ran deep. It was a joy to read.
I thought the ending was perfect. It summed everything up neatly and I was completely satisfied and moved. The final words made me cry happy tears and warmed my heart. I wish I could tell you about everything, but I believe His Best Man must be read to be able to appreciate Elle Keaton’s writing, Rod and Travis’ love, and Travis’ family’s influence. It is considered part of the Accidental Roots series, but you don’t have to read the other stories to understand what happens here. However, I’m going to enthusiastically recommend you read the previous books, simply because they’re amazing…full of action, well crafted mysteries, and lovable characters. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up. You won’t be sorry.