Harrison Andrews was supposed to get married to his good friend, Rowan. The two never loved each other, but their families pushed them into it, and since Harrison knew he couldn’t have the man he really wanted, he agreed to the marriage. But when Rowan runs off with a hot ginger in Vegas and gets married to him instead, it is the wake-up call Harrison needs to reach for his own happiness. And there is no one Harrison wants more than Jack Marshall.
Jack has been in love with Harrison for years, but Harrison has always kept Jack at arm’s length. The two are stepbrothers, but weren’t raised together and never thought of themselves as siblings. Yet Harrison knows his family would never approve, and so he has done what he can to keep his distance from Jack. But once Harrison decides to let go, Jack is all he wants and the two finally act on the long-standing attraction between them.
When Jack and Harrison finally act on their feelings, it is everything they each hoped it would be. The men connect on pretty much every level and all they can think about is being together. But their family is not going to be happy, and Harrison doesn’t do well disappointing them. And after waiting so long for Harrison to finally agree to pursue things between them, Jack can’t help but be wary Harrison will cave to his family under the pressure. Now that the men have found one another, they need to figure out if they can find a way to a future together.
Rediscovered is the second book in E.M. Denning’s Do-Over series and is the companion novel to Rearranged, which is Rowan and Sid’s story. We get some hints there that something is up with Jack and Harrison, and here we see it play out. While the romance stands alone here, this story does tie with the first book in terms of some of the key plot points, and I think having read them in order will be helpful, but not strictly required.
I like the way Denning set up these two books with the stories for both Rowan and Harrison, sort of giving us both sides of the journey. It is fun to see this book play out, as the timelines overlap, and so we get to find out what was going on all the while with Harrison while Rowan and Sid were getting together. In the first book, we see Rowan find love with Sid, and rather than being angry, Harrison is thrilled, since he didn’t want to get married to Rowan anyway. But that is the prompt Harrison needs to finally realize he must take action to find his own happiness and stop worrying about what others think. So I really think this is a fun set up and I like how the stories tie together. I also enjoyed Jack and Harrison together and there is a nice sense of two men who have been waiting years for one another. When they finally act on their feelings, their emotions kind of explode all over, they are so absolutely thrilled to be together. The two men accept each other and pretty much adore everything about each other. They each have issues they are struggling with and emotions they are battling, and the men are so supportive of each other. Being together also gives them the confidence to finally stand up for themselves against their pushy parents, and this story gets the men in a really good place.
However, for me, this story suffered a little from the fact that we just jump right in and things are pretty much zero to 100 for Jack and Harrison. The story opens with Jack and Harrison seeing Rowan newly married and immediately then acting on their own attraction for one another. Then aside from an extremely frustrating misunderstanding that leads to Jack freaking out and fleeing temporarily, the guys are essentially all in and madly in love from the first moment. So I felt like I was sort of playing catch up on their relationship as we never see their past, from the frustrations they have each experienced with one another, to the issues that were between them, to their feelings that have been growing. We also don’t see the conflicts they had with their parents that affected Harrison’s actions in particular. We just sort of open the book and it has all already happened. As a result, a lot of the book is then watching these guys be in love and have lots of sex. Issues crop up as hurdles the men have faced in the past, either individually or together, but we don’t learn much about the backstory and then they are quickly resolved. For example, we are told Harrison is dealing with depression and there is an implication about how it has affected him in the past, but we get very little information about it. So I feel like we needed more time focused on developing these men individually as characters, as well as showing how they came to be madly in love already by the start of the book.
Overall, I think this is a sweet and sexy story about two men finally finding their way together. I needed more character and story development, but found it a nice companion to the first book and a good choice if you are looking for a fairly low conflict story.