Rating: 4 stars
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Mick Lawler’s relationship with his family is strained at best. But when his sister’s husband dies—who also happened to be Mick’s first boyfriend—Mick heads home to California because his sister asks. And because it’s going to be a difficult trip, Mick’s best friend Zach Covington offers to go with him. Mick thinks he should say no, but he can’t imagine facing it without Zach.
As always, Zach is there for Mick completely. When Mick’s sister thinks Mick and Zach are dating, Zach agrees rather than correct her. Emotions are running high, and Mick finally gets to sort through some old hurts with his family while they all mourn the loss.
But Zach is the one who takes their friendship to the next level. Mick has been in love with Zach for a long time, but Zach was something of a player, and Mick didn’t think Zach was interested in him. But as their relationship becomes physical and things move forward, Mick begins to wonder if it’s possible. And when Zach confesses his feelings, things finally have their happily ever after.
I’m a fan of this author for Lane’s light, fun writing. This story is no exception, and there’s just enough heft to the storyline to give it some weight. While there were some parts I would have liked to see explored more, I really enjoyed this novella.
Mick is a great character. And I loved the whole dichotomy between the MCs. They worked together completely, even just as friends. I enjoyed watching their banter and interactions, and it felt natural when things became more. Mick and Zach are perfect for each other, and I was so glad to see them end up in a good place. In fact, the ending where Zach confesses his feelings is my favorite scene in the whole book.
Loss is a big theme here. The whole premise caught my interest because it’s not something we see very often. Mick is dealing with a lot of emotion. He lost his first love when the man chose Mick’s twin sister instead. Then he face the loss of his family when he moved across country and his parents didn’t make an effort to stay in touch. I really liked that Mick came to see his part in all that, and that it wasn’t solely on everyone else’s shoulders. He does a lot of growing in this story, and it was lovely to see.
That being sad, there were definitely some moments where resolutions seemed to pat and easy, and I would have liked to see them dealt with more fully. But considering what this story is, I thought that on the whole, it was handled well. Ultimately, it’s a great love story, both for the two MCs finally confessing what they’ve always felt and for Mick and his family as well. If you’re looking for a light read with great emotion and good characters, consider picking this one up.