Avery is a small town accountant working for his uncle. He’s had it rough…kicked out by his parents for being gay, Avery was raised by his aunt and uncle. Now, at age 25, he’s moved into his own place and is ready to be independent. One evening, Avery is trying to cook a sweet potato in the microwave for his dinner, but there’s a problem, and before he knows it, his apartment is full of smoke. Painfully embarrassed, Avery finds himself face to face with a very handsome firefighter, and that firefighter seems interested in a poster he has on his wall.
Lincoln has moved to Seacroft after a traumatic experience when he was younger. Now, he’s a rookie firefighter on the town’s small fire department. Linc’s gay, but he isn’t out, partly because of the trauma and partly because people in small towns tend to know everyone else’s business. Everything is fine until he winds up at the apartment of a cute, red-haired twink who pushes Linc’s buttons.
Soon, the men are spending more time together and Linc is starting to wonder if he should stay in the closet, or if he should come out and live happily with Avery. Things aren’t all as smooth as they seem. Linc has some family issues that finally come to a head, and Avery is faced with a difficult choice about his future. Will Avery and Linc be able to find solutions to their problems? Or will the fire between the two of them burn out before it has the chance to take off?
I’ve been with the Seacroft Stories series from the very beginning, and I think Hot Potato may be my favorite of the three. Even though it contains its share of angst, there is a little more humor to balance it out. From a smoking sweet potato, to the sweet dialogue between Avery and Link, the story moves along at a great pace and is smoothly written in the third person.
I quite like Avery and Linc. They definitely “meet cute” as they say. Their continued interactions are sweet, and even when there are misunderstandings, there’s still a bit of…goodness there to keep them compelling. There are a few moments in the middle that feel a little long. They’re not boring, but while I enjoy having a detailed story, there are a few scenes that have a teeny bit too much.
There are quite a few background characters in the book. In fact, I just counted eight of them that are important to the story, and a few more who aren’t really important at all, but they play the role they need to play. I think by having so many other characters, I’m able to put both Avery and Linc’s life experiences into perspective and how they fit together to make such a good couple.
Hot Potato has a solid story, but nothing worth having is easy, right? The road to love has some potholes to get past. Avery, with his social anxiety, goes through what I can only describe as a trauma, and thanks to some family drama, Linc isn’t there for him. It was a bit touch and go for a little while, but in the end, love triumphs over everything…as is should be.
Speaking of the end, Hot Potato pulls together the way it should. It was sweet and made me smile. My only issue is that it feels a little rushed. There’s a lot of buildup, and Avery and Linc fight hard for what they deserve. It just seems to me there could have been a little…more.
Hot Potato is the third book in the Seacroft Stories series. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first two, Top Shelf and Cold Pressed, but I recommend them as much as I’m recommending this one. All are enjoyable, and while I’m pretty sure this will be the last installment in the series, I certainly wouldn’t mind if Allison Temple decided to keep it going. Definitely pick this one up.