Rating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel

It’s been two years since Merrick lost Daniel, his partner of eight years. He knows he should be starting to move on, but Merrick’s grief is still raw and painful. He is trying to maintain whatever ties he can to Daniel, and that includes occasionally texting him. But this time, when Merrick texts Daniel on his birthday…someone answers back.

At first Merrick is devastated that someone new has Daniel’s phone number. It seems just one more way that Daniel is slipping away from him. But it turns out Jace is friendly and understanding, and despite the strange circumstances, the two strike up a friendship and begin chatting regularly. When they move to meet in person, it is clear that Jace and Merrick have a great connection. Jace is everything Merrick could want in a guy, but he can’t help the guilt he feels when he even considers moving on from Daniel. But Jace isn’t looking to replace Daniel, and being around him somehow helps Merrick work through his grief. As the two men start falling for each other, Merrick must decide it if he is ready to take the next steps forward to a life with Jace by his side.

The Last Text is sweet and romantic and full of emotion. Alice Winters is just so good at finding that balance between humor and tension, and this story made me laugh at the same time I felt for Merrick and his sense of loss. This is the first book of Winters’ that I have read that doesn’t have a suspense element, so I was curious how things would go with a straight contemporary. But even without a thriller aspect, this story kept me captivated throughout.

When we meet Merrick, it is clear he is still heavily grieving. He just can not figure out how to move forward, and he is lonely and feeling trapped and discouraged. His family, for all they love and support him, are so worried about upsetting him that they end up often making things worse. So watching Merrick slowly find himself again with Jace’s help is so rewarding. Jace is so understanding and supportive. He is patient and kind (not to mention funny and gorgeous) and he never pushes for more than Merrick can give. At the same time, Jace helps Merrick find a way to process his loss, to remember the good times with Daniel without being so mired in grief that he can’t function. It is just lovely to see Merrick find happiness again, and the two of them are just lovely together. This story has Winters’ trademark humor and these guys are adorable and their banter is fun and charming.

The story is a slow burn as Merrick definitely needs to take his time getting comfortable with the idea of a new relationship. Yet the book never feels slow and I really enjoyed watching Jace and Merrick fall for one another. So this is another hit for me from Alice Winters, and she has quickly become one of my go-to authors. This story is sweet and romantic and really uplifting. I can highly recommend it.