Dane doesn’t easily form any sort of trusting relationship. His mother abandoned him and his father when he was six. Later, Dane’s father was sent to prison for a scheme to steal investors’ money, and to top it off, the first man he ever loved (his best friend) is now married with a child. Now, with his father’s release date approaching, Dan’s been asked by is father to go to North Carolina to meet his uncle. It seems he owns an inn on the beach, and he’d like to have a relationship with Dane and his father, even though he’d previously cut off all communications with them.
Brook is a long-term employee of the Bird Island Inn. He’s overworked and underpaid, but he enjoys the job. In fact, he loves the inn and Sunset Beach. His favorite thing to do is wake up early, go for a run on the beach, and visit the Kindred Spirits Mailbox. There, island residents and tourists alike leave personal notes in notebooks for others to read. Now, though, Brook is on edge. His boss, James, has been obsessing over the inn’s remodel, and now he wants Brook to show his nephew around when he arrives. Brook’s convinced James’ nephew will be a pain in his…well, you get the picture. He doesn’t expect the man to be handsome and pleasant. Suddenly, Brook realizes maybe this won’t be so bad.
Dane and Brook realize they have a great chemistry, and their quick friendship begins to develop into more. When some unpleasant news comes to light, they rely on each other to figure out how they’ll handle that…and their growing love. The question is whether they’ll be able to save their relationship, the inn, and Dane’s family.
I really enjoyed this book. I’d been in the mood for a sweet, low angst story that would warm my heart. Kindred Spirits was exactly what I needed. I found the setting to be beautiful and charming and the characters sweet and real. And that mailbox? That gave me so many feels…warm, fuzzy feels.
Dane and Brook are good men, and they’re nicely written. Kindred Spirits isn’t a terribly long book, so I’m pleased at how much depth they have. We learn of their pasts, their thoughts, and their feelings, but they’re not shoved at us in order to fit into any sort of time limit. They share a nice chemistry. Sure, they’re sexy, but my favorite thing is their sort of flirty sweetness. They actually talk, and those conversations are as romantic as the kissing, and the touching, and the…well, you know the rest.
Kindred Spirits has a great pace. Everything moves along well. Once again, it’s not a breakneck speed, but there are no dull moments, and no stalling, even in the middle as so often happens. There is a big issue that is concerning, and the buildup to that makes it seem almost obvious, but I actually like that. I didn’t feel gobsmacked by the revelation. I consider this to be a great skill of the author, and I am quite impressed.
There are a few background characters worth mentioning here. James, Dane’s uncle and Brook’s boss, has his hands into a few things that play a huge role in the story. He’s an important character, even if he is annoying, and that is also a well done choice by Johnson. Next we have Dane’s best friend, Grady, and Grady’s wife, Jen. There’s a history there, and it’s something that needs to be faced. They also play a major role in the story near the end. This took me a bit by surprise, but it’s a pleasant surprise. They were a puzzle piece that was necessary for everything to come together.
The ending of Kindred Spirits is neat and clean. There aren’t any real surprises, but that’s actually earns points from me. As I mentioned at the beginning, I was searching for something romantic with low angst that would warm my heart. I got all that and even a little more. I have no issue with recommending this book. It’s sweet, sexy, and fun, and I’m going to go out and search for other books written by Sloan Johnson. Definitely pick this one up.