Del left Anticipation five years ago, leaving his family and his boyfriend, Noah, behind. Being gay in a small town was not something Del could handle at that point and he cut off all contact with home. Now, however, Del is returning to Anticipation with his young daughter. After Clarice’s mother died, Del knew that she needed more than he could provide in his busy city job. But with things still at odds with his family (who don’t even know about Clarice), it is not going to be easy.
Noah was heartbroken when Del left town without a word years ago. He has never gotten over losing him, but he has tried to move on with his life in Anticipation and his job at the bakery. When Noah hears Del is coming back to town, his plan is to avoid him. The pain is still raw, and Noah can’t deny to himself that his feelings for Del are still there. But there is no way he can let himself trust Del again after he took off last time and cut off all contact.
Staying away isn’t as easy as Noah thought, however. When he sees Del, all those old feelings come rushing back. Noah finds himself charmed by Clarice and imagining what life as a family might be like. And Del makes it clear that he still wants Noah and that he has changed for the better over the years. Noah can’t deny that Del has clearly grown and changed, but he is still worried about risking his heart. Now Noah has to decide if he is willing to take a chance and try again with Del, or if he is going to play it safe and lose his chance at a happy ending with the man he loves.
Anticipating Rejection is the second book in Silvia Violet’s Anticipation series. While we do get a brief appearance by David and Oliver from Anticipating Disaster, this one can easily be read as a standalone.
Fans of the lovers reunited trope will find a lot to like here as the story does a nice job exploring how the men are dealing with recovering from their past. It is clear that Del has grown and changed a lot, but the scars still run deep, both for his family and for Noah. I liked seeing how Del comes to really take responsibility for his actions in the past and make amends. It is also clear that the experience has made Noah very skittish and wary of taking chances, not just on Del, but in life in general. It was easy to understand the tension Noah felt between wanting to accept Del’s apologies and move forward, but still being so afraid to trust him. I think there is a nice sense of realism here for how these guys are affected by the situation and so I liked how that played out. The chemistry between Del and Noah is strong and it is clear that while their heads may be uncertain at times, emotionally they are very much into one another.
This story took a little time to really settle in for me for some reason. I feel like the lead up to the men getting together took a while to get going, perhaps because there was a lot of focus on Clarice and getting them settled back in town. Even when the guys do get together and start exploring a relationship, it just didn’t completely click for me and I am not sure why. I’ll admit that it is probably a bit of personal preference, as there is a lot of time spent on Clarice and that wasn’t totally my thing. But I think that I wanted more time to see the men build their relationship back and to see them together than we got here.
Overall, this is an enjoyable story and Violet does a nice job with the second chance romance elements here. And if you are a fan of adorable kids in your books, this one will probably push all your buttons. I wanted a little more focus here on Noah and Del and more time to see them explore their relationship, but I did find this one a nice read. We get a chance to learn a bit more about some of the residents of Anticipation, and if I am right on our next couple, I am very much eager to get their story. So I am having fun with this series and looking forward to more.