Shawn has just completed his graduate degree in astronomy, but he doesn’t want to work as a lab grunt, calculating data. He fell in love with the stars when he was young, he had to work very hard to get through all the math involved in astronomy, and really, he just wants to impart his love of the galaxy by writing a book that will make other people love it too. Shawn takes the summer off and heads to his grandmother’s cabin with the intent to spend the time writing that book before he decides what to do with his future. So getting a call from his brother, Leo, to say that Leo’s best friend, Cass, is spending the summer at the cabin too is quite a shock. Shawn has always had a crush on Cass, and he doesn’t know how he’s going to be able to deal with having Cass in his life again.
Cass is drifting. The band he drummed with has decided to sign a contract and make it big, but that’s never been Cass’ dream. His only love is the music and the beat, and he doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. So he quits the band and, at Leo’s request, heads to the cabin in Kentucky to renovate the studio into a guest house. He’s always enjoyed Shawn’s company, and he knows he’ll like hanging out with Shawn while he decides what he wants to do next.
Things are awkward, but only for a minute. Shawn has always found Cass easy to talk to, and Cass loves Shawn’s passion. They fall into an easy friendship. But the more time they spend together, the more their attraction grows. Shawn’s longtime crush becomes deeper, and Cass finds himself looking at Shawn in a way he’s never looked at a man before. For Cass, realizing he’s bisexual and wants Shawn isn’t a huge deal. But thinking himself worthy of the passionate, intelligent man is another thing all together. And though Shawn has fallen in love with Cass, it’s not easy to trust his fantasies have come true and that he can have a happily ever after with this man. But communication and love will set these two men on their path to forever.
I took a chance on this new-to-me author because the blurb hit some of my favorite tropes, and I am so glad I did. This book is an easy story, lovely and loving, with a well-paced plot and well-rounded characters.
Told in dual POV, we get to really know both characters well. Getting inside their minds really helps flesh out the story, and seeing their motivations, thought processes, hopes, and desires works perfectly as we watch them both grow. Shawn is on a path of finding his confidence. He knows what he wants, but he’s also got a practical side that knows it might not be the right course. It doesn’t help that his brother is a loving voice in his ear, but Leo doesn’t understand that Shawn isn’t focused on a career to measure his success. Shawn is shy, and a geek, but so passionate and intelligent.
Cass has always followed his own beat and done what feels right to him. In high school, he was a definite bad boy, and growing up with wealthy, but inattentive, parents made him act out for attention. But he’s grown up, and now Cass does only what feels right to him. Which is why he quit the band at the verge of them making it big. That’s not what he wants. He expects to spend the summer putting his construction knowledge to work and deciding where to go next. But Cass didn’t expect it to be a summer of self discovery. His attraction to Shawn is a surprise, but what I loved is that it’s not a huge deal to him. He doesn’t freak out, or push it away. But he does take time to really think about it, about what it means for him and how he feels about it.
The romance grows slowly, and is a bit of a slow burn. But it builds organically and their relationship is so very believable. They take time to check in with each other, and they actually talk to one another. Sure there’s awkward moments, especially in the beginning. And there’s some insecurities too, near the end of the story. But though they have a few days (which only translates to a couple of pages) where they don’t know how to deal with their new thoughts, Cass and Shawn do talk about them and their love is clear. I love that they talk and communicate, and I love that it made their relationship even stronger. These guys have been waiting for each other, even if Cass didn’t realize it, and they are so solid at the end of the book.
All in all, I really enjoyed this one. There’s just a bit of angst to give this story some weight, but mostly, it’s an easy love story about two guys coming together, bolstering and supporting each other, and finding love in the best possible way. If you like happy books, this one is for you.