Finn Gallagher is a famous Hollywood action star. He appears to have it all — great career, gorgeous home, beautiful girlfriend — but it is all a lie. Inside, Finn is miserable. He has known he’s gay for years, but has been forced to hide because he has been convinced no one will ever hire a gay action hero. His relationship with his “girlfriend” is fake, though he and Sky are the best of friends. It is all wearing him down and Finn has reached his breaking point. When it all gets to be too much, Finn flees for his hometown in Cornwall, England. He hasn’t been there in 15 years, but for some reason, it is still the place where he feels most safe.
Wyatt Trainor came to Cornwall from Canada after a bad breakup, looking to make a fresh start. He has taken a temporary contract at a veterinary practice in a small seaside town and is finding himself content there in ways he never expected. One night, Wyatt heads out to a bar and finds himself with the hottest guy he has ever seen. But things end quickly when both Wyatt and his hookup are too drunk for any real action. The man looks familiar to Wyatt, but he doesn’t recognize him. Not until he goes to work and finds himself face to face with his want-to-be hookup, the gorgeous Finn Gallagher.
The heat between Wyatt and Finn that flared that night in the bar is still raging and the guys can barely keep their hands off each other. Both men know their relationship has an expiration date, however, as while Finn is hiding out at the bay, it is only a matter of time before the press and his manager track him down. Not to mention that Wyatt’s stay in Cornwall is supposed to be temporary, as well. So they agree to keep things casual and enjoy their time together while they can. Of course, that doesn’t go according to plan and Finn and Wyatt begin falling hard for each other. Yet Finn can only hide away from his life for so long. When the realities of his world come crashing back in, he will have to figure out if he is ready to move forward, or if he is going to lose the happiness he has finally found.
Forever Finn is book 2.5 in Vawn Cassidy’s excellent Belong to Me series. It was originally published as a free short story, but now has been significantly expanded into a medium-length novel. We met Wyatt as Jesse’s new veterinarian in Definitely Deacon, and the assorted gang from the bay all appear here. However, I think you could jump into this series here if you wanted.
The tropes here are ones that most readers have probably seen before — the supposedly anonymous hookup that shows back up in your life, the closeted actor who must decide whether to come out, etc. But Cassidy really pushes beyond those well known tropes and creates such a lovely story here. I could really feel Finn’s pain and weariness and just this sense of almost terror of being stuck in this unhappy life forever. It comes through so clearly how he is just over it all and basically he panics and flees his Hollywood life. As we see later in the book, his manager is just awful and he has made Finn believe he has no chance at a career if he ever comes out. So even as he is finding such happiness with Wyatt, there is a large part of Finn that believes he can never have this life, that the clock is ticking and soon he will be forced back to the life he hates. But at the same time, there is just this lovely sense of Finn finally coming into himself. He reconnects with friends, settles back into his hometown, and falls in love with Wyatt. Cassidy sets the tension up so well between what Finn wants and what he thinks he can have and I was rooting for him all the way.
The relationship between Finn and Wyatt is sweet and steamy. They are on fire for each other at first meeting and that fire never cools, even as they start dating. Finn has had covert hookups, but as a big guy and an action star, he has never been comfortable sharing what he really wants in bed. So being with Wyatt, who is a gentle giant of a man, allows Finn to open up and be honest about his desires and Wyatt is all about fulfilling them. Things feel a little fast here, as it seems like only a week or two before all hell breaks loose and the men are already in love. But I really liked Finn and Wyatt as a couple and appreciated the way Wyatt supports and encourages Finn and helps him figure out what he wants from his life.
One of my favorite things about this series is the ensemble cast of side characters and these guys continue to be so much fun. The group is kind of wild, and at times they just jump in without a lot of thinking, but they love and take care of each other. We get some fun banter and some total hijinks and I am enjoying this group so much, I can’t wait for all their stories. I also love the Cornwall setting. I’ll be honest and say reading Suddenly Beck was one of the things that made me so interested in visiting Cornwall recently. It is a really magical place and a lot of that comes through in the series.
I am really enjoying this series and loving all the characters. If you are a fan of contemporary stories, particularly those that take place in a small town with a great ensemble cast, definitely check out this book and the series. I can’t wait for more.