Kit wasn’t planning on starting over, but when he found out his wife was cheating on him, Kit’s life took a turn he wasn’t expecting. Moving back to his hometown, Kit’s number one priority is his son, Linden. But Kit wasn’t expecting his neighbor, Lawson, to tempt him in all the ways.
Lawson’s life is busy. He owns a bakery and his home life is complicated. His attraction to Kit becomes all consuming and he looks for ways to see the man again. Soon, Lawson is spending time with Linden as well, and Linden is always asking for him. But Lawson isn’t able to give all of himself to Kit and even though Kit is still reeling from the end of his marriage, Kit goes down a road with Lawson he never envisioned for himself. But their lives can’t only exist behind closed doors and when their choices see the light of day, Kit and Lawson will have to trust and rely on each other if they want a future together.
This book tells Kit and Lawson’s story as they meet and fall hard for each other, but there are definitely complications that prevent them from truly being together right away. The vibe was a little off for me from the start as Lawson goes to introduce himself to Kit and bring him cookies. Lawson is all in just from looking at Kit and, just a few minutes after meeting, they are kissing in Kit’s kitchen. We are told how the men are feeling, but I didn’t feel this intense chemistry coming off them as much. Then, what we learn next about Lawson not only sets up the rest of the story, but made me wonder what exactly Lawson is doing from the moment he meets Kit. There is a spoiler below for what is going on with Lawson and, while this is mentioned earlier in the book, it is a reveal that is worked into the story.
When Kit learns about Lawson’s family life, he wants to keep his distance from the man, but instead, he and Linden get attached to Lawson quickly. Lawson makes terrible choices. He is presented as being a sweet neighbor and a good friend, but Lawson is incredibly selfish, something that even he admits. There wasn’t enough depth or development given to Lawson’s home life to justify his thought process and, while I understand what the author was trying to get across, it didn’t work for me.
Kit is trying to be the best father he can and he’s always there for Linden. Linden is a large focal point of this book, and while he is written as a cute kid, he started to take over the book for me in some places. Kit also calls Linden “darling” all the time—in almost every sentence– and that was an off choice for me as a nickname for his toddler-aged son. Kit also makes poor choices, especially after what he just went through with his wife, and the structure of the story didn’t support all those choices for me. Kit is a psychology professor and, as an assignment, he has the students write a paper on the exact subject he is going through in his personal life, and we see excerpts of the assignments and it came off as contrived and preachy to me.
Given Lawson’s home life, this won’t be the book for everyone. For me, it wasn’t Lawson’s overall situation that was the issue, but the way the characters were drawn and the structure and tone of the story that made this a less than satisfying read overall.