Henry spent his career working 100-hour weeks and pushing himself to the limit. It may have been exhausting, but Henry relished his success. Then, it all fell apart and he lost his company and most of his money. Now, Henry has moved out of Chicago and is living with his brother while he tries to get back on his feet. Henry knows his next big idea is just around the corner and then he’ll find his way back to the top, but in the meantime, he is feeling unmoored. He decides a night of casual sex may be just what he needs, but no one at the bar appeals to him until a hot guy strikes up a conversation. Henry is immediately drawn in by the sexy Auggie and the two end up having an incredibly hot night together, but Henry dashes when it is all over.
Auggie can admit to being disappointed when his hookup bails without a word, but he isn’t surprised. Auggie is ready for more than casual encounters, but most of the guys he sees aren’t looking for serious. He can’t get that night out of his mind, however, so Auggie is shocked when Henry is introduced to the Big Bull Mechanic’s crew as their new customer service manager.
Henry regretted ditching Auggie pretty much as soon as it happened. But without his career and his money, he can’t help but fear he has nothing to offer. Seeing Auggie again at Big Bull is a temptation Henry can’t resist, however. The two men try to stay away from each other, but the connection is fierce and they can’t stop themselves from continuing their hook ups. It seems like things are going great between the men and they are falling hard for each other. Now, Henry needs to decide what he truly wants for his future, and to believe that he is exactly what Auggie needs, just as he is.
Rear Ended is the fourth book in the Big Bull Mechanics series and I think it may be my favorite so far. These stories all have a wonderful found family vibe and we do spend time with the Big Bull guys, as well as getting appearances from friends in the larger universe, but this story should also work fine as a standalone. Rear Ended starts off with intensity as Auggie and Henry have a sexy hookup and things continue to be high heat throughout the story. Auggie and Henry have some amazing chemistry and I could just feel the pull the two men have toward each other, even as they try to stay away from one another and keep things professional at work. Alas, they are pretty unsuccessful at that and the guys end up finding ways to get time alone together.
Neuhold brings nice balance here, and while the story is super sexy, there is also a real sweetness to their interactions. The men just seem to understand and accept one another, which is particularly important for Henry, who is not feeling so confident about his worth right now. His view of himself was shaped by his success and now, having lost his money and his business, Henry feels like he has nothing to offer Auggie. Of course, Auggie is totally happy with Henry just as he is, but it takes Henry some time to really comes to terms with what he wants from life. He knows he wasn’t really happy before, but he doesn’t immediately accept that things won’t be better the next time around once he finds another big business idea. But the peacefulness of their small town, the satisfaction of making a difference at Big Bull, and the chance to enjoy life without non-stop work really starts to make Henry rethink his priorities. And, eventually, he comes to accept that he can be the right person for Auggie and that he has value just as he is. I did want a little more clarity on just what happened to Henry and his business, as we don’t get a lot of details. But overall, I think this story gives some nice character growth for Henry.
We get to meet Henry’s brother, Jay, here as well. Jay is in a motorcycle club and works in a tattoo parlor and there is some interaction with those guys as well. I am hoping this is going to lead into another spinoff series, as there seems to be nice potential with these characters.
Rear Ended is a low angst story, but these characters really kept my attention. It is sexy and romantic and I just really loved Auggie and Henry together. This is a great choice if you like fun, high-heat, and romantic contemporaries, and fans of the Big Bull series should definitely pick this one up.