Four years is a long time to hold a torch for someone, but Clancy Jons knows that if Samir Ford will have him, he is ready to commit to a loving relationship and finally come out to his homophobic, ultra-religious family. Clancy walked away out of fear before, but he’s determined to be proud of who he is and strong in the face of the hateful bigotry he knows his family will rain down on him when he tells them he is gay. But the damage to the fledgling relationship between he and Samir may be more permanent than Clancy fears. If Samir is not willing to take a second chance on relationship, then Clancy will have to fight for the man he loves—something he is ready to do. Becoming the general manager of the Neighborhood Shindig will give Clancy just the chance he needs to win Samir back.
I fear I may be in the minority about this latest installment in A.M. Arthur’s Neighborhood Shindig series, Waiting For You. This is the third book and, for me, the least exciting. It wasn’t so much that very little in the way of tension was built into the story, but rather the fact that after a major fallout between Clancy and Samir four years ago, the two fall right back into a relationship complete with declarations of love after less than a week. It all felt a bit contrived and, honestly, I think I was so disappointed because I really liked Samir from the previous two novels and was eager for his story.
I can tell you that Clancy and Samir are both incredibly likable characters and the sexual tension between them was realistic and intense. I also appreciated that initially the author had Samir holding his emotions in check, unsure if he could trust Clancy to not pick up and walk out on him again. As usual, there was some drama at the Shindig and that allowed us to again bask in the lovely community the owners of the food trucks represent. However, this time the main drama concerned Clancy’s coming out to his family and that fell very flat for me. The big scene was too short after so much build up with too little time spent on the actual confrontation. Between that and the ease with which Clancy kind of took it all in stride when his family reacted just as he feared, I felt cheated.
I think the main problem here was that this story needed to focus more on the back story of Clancy, his family, and his first relationship with Samir. I have said this before about this series, but I think it bears repeating—these are good books. They have fascinating characters, a killer setting in terms of the actual food truck community, and enough drama to create some full body novels. The fact that each one seems to stick to a limited number of pages I think precludes the author from fully developing the history that in this case would have really helped create more tension and make the rapid declarations of love seem more reasonable and realistic.
Again, these are just my opinions and fans of this series may have ones that differ greatly. I do like this series. This may be my least favorite book so far, but I still want to learn more about the other community members; I think there are some good stories yet to tell, particularly if we revisit Clancy’s friend, Declan. So, while Waiting for You didn’t hit it out of the park for me, I still believe A.M. Arthur is a marvelous storyteller and I look forward to more about the neighborhood she’s created.