Adrian Powell has the life he always wanted, but never thought he could have. He has a quiet home and a great career. His love life suffers, as well as maintaining true friends, as Adrian has to keep his past locked down tight. But Adrian could never have guessed that he would have a small circle of coworkers and friends that care about him, except they don’t know the real Adrian and opening himself up to them terrifies Adrian.
His quiet home is upended when Niall Carmichael arrives in town and Niall is about as grumpy as Adrian. Yet each encounter sparks their chemistry higher and it’s not long before the men are acting on it. But Niall is divorced and not looking for a relationship and Adrian’s past decides to revisit him. Just when the men think they may have found something special, the past may have other plans for them.
Adrian has been a somewhat elusive character in Jay Hogan’s Southern Lights series. He is now business partners with Ethan (whose story is in Powder and Pavlova) and settled into the quiet town, but no one still knew anything about Adrian. Adrian has kept his past so hidden for so long that he has no idea how to open himself up, even if he wanted to, and he’s starting to think he might want to. However, he definitely knows that he does not want to open himself up to Niall, who tests Adrian’s last nerve the moment they meet.
At first glance, Adrian and Niall are an unlikely pair. They are both set in their ways and they are both closed off and they are both stubborn. But that doesn’t stop the heat between them. Niall is in town to convert the vacant property to upscale vacation cabins and if he disturbs Adrian’s privacy and quiet surroundings, he thinks Adrian should just deal with it. Niall is also in town to reconnect with his family, as he is not the best at staying in touch with them.
The book touches on a number of subjects that both Adrian and Niall have to move past, as well as the idea that when you find the right person, not everything seems impossible. There is a gradual shift that they both feel and their relationship flows well and it’s clear they are meant to be together.
There were some inconsistencies that really detracted from the story for me. One example was early in the book when Adrian and Niall are discussing Adrian’s writing and Adrian states that he only has the evening available to write. Then, in the same conversation, Adrian states that the evening isn’t the best time for him to write.
All of the characters from the series are seen again and some of the story arcs are revisited and I feel you would get the most out the series by reading in order. Ultimately, Adrian’s story is one that has been seen before in a variety of ways, but I did like the relationship between the men and finding out more about them.
The idea of this book was good and, from my reading experience, a more thorough edit to eliminate the inconsistencies would have made this book shine a lot brighter for me.