Nathan Elliott has reached the breaking point. His domineering father has controlled every aspect of his life and Nate is miserable. He may be wealthy and privileged, but everything about his life makes Nate unhappy. So Nate finally cuts the cord on his old life. He quits his job, grabs his backpack, and sets out for someplace, anyplace, where he can be himself. After flipping a coin at the train station, Nate ends up in a small Cornish beach town. There he is immediately drawn in by the ocean… and almost drowns, before being rescued by a gorgeous man.
Beck Ainsley grew up at “the bay” and loves the small town. He has a close family, and while they are all still mourning the loss of his father, his mother and siblings and closest friends all live in town. After a relationship gone very wrong, Beck doesn’t do serious anymore. But when he rescues the striking man with the beautiful blue eyes, he is definitely not averse to some casual fun.
The men find themselves becoming friends as Nate settles into town. But the attraction between them is searing, and soon they can’t help but act upon it. However, with Nate’s future so uncertain and Beck not interested in a relationship, they agree to keep things casual. Yet despite their best efforts, things between the men are anything but low key. Both Beck and Nate are falling hard for one another and the connection between them is like nothing they have ever known. But both men have complicated pasts that they need to share, and Nate’s isn’t one he can keep at bay forever. Now, Beck and Nate need to decide if they are ready to move on from their pasts and build their future together.
Suddenly Beck is the first book in the new Belong to Me series and the debut work by Vawn Cassidy under this pen name (she also writes romantic suspense/paranormal under the name Wendy Saunders). I really loved this story from start to finish. The book opens with Nate fleeing his life in London, and the combination of a coin flip, a storm, and the wrong bus lands him unexpectedly in this little coastal town. Nate finds himself immediately charmed and entranced by pretty much everything about the town, and Cassidy does a wonderful job of bringing the setting to life. I could practically feel the sun and smell the brine and everyone is friendly and lovely and charming. Yes, at times life in this small town is somewhat over-the-top perfect, especially early on when Nate is comparing everything to London. But so much of the story rests on the magic of this community in which Nate finds himself and I couldn’t help but be swept up along with him.
Beck and Nate meet when Nate nearly drowns in the storm, and while at first the men try to keep things just to friendship, it is quickly clear they are meant for more. Cassidy does such a great job with the chemistry between these men. It just sparks off the page. Nate is not out in his old life — there is no way his father would tolerate him being gay — but he is done hiding. Still, he has no experience with men at all and Beck delights in introducing Nate to the incredible ways the two of them can be together. The guys are hot and intense and, right from the start, it is clear that they are meant for each other. I just loved them together and even as each is a little unsure about how to move forward, they are open and honest with each other and embrace their feelings for one another.
As I said, I really enjoyed the setting and this community Cassidy has created. The characters are fun, often snarky, and full of love for one another. There is a lushness to the book, a sense of warmth that really comes through. It also sets the perfect foundation for Nate to find himself, to reach for who he wants to be and embrace his new life in this wonderful location. I am really eager to return to this town and these characters (Beck has a lot of siblings and it looks like future books feature two of his brothers). I found this one just a delight and a perfect read for when you are dreaming of summer days by the water.