Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Colin is a newly outed 30-something who’s recently learned he’s contracted hepatitis C. Colin hid his sexuality all his life, knowing that his wealthy and snobby family would not accept him. In fact, as soon as he was well enough to travel, they stopped caring for him altogether and pretty much kicked him out of the family. Colin was canny, though, and made great investments in the venture capital firm his family runs, setting himself up for the day he might need to step out on his own. Money can’t buy him happiness, but he wasn’t happy with those people anyway, was he? Neither was Widget, the French bulldog Colin’s parents also discarded for not meeting their insane expectations. Widget gets a name change once the pair settles in Gaynor Beach, California, on the opposite coast from their vindictive relations. Still, Colin’s in pretty great distress from the ravages of his disease, possibly requiring a liver transplant. He’s too weak most days to walk Widget, and seeks help through a foster agency, which is how he meets James.

James is a beautiful, independent man with a large family that loves him from head to toe. He’s recently bought a home, moving out for the first time at the prime age of twenty-seven. His good friend tries to convince James to take on a foster pet–or even adopt pets–but he’s been holding off, looking for the perfect opportunity. Meeting Colin and Widget is a little bit of an ambush situation, but James’ empathy bone is thoroughly pinged when he learns about Colin’s situation. James’ smothering family would never abandon him, and James’ savior complex hasn’t had a robust workout in a good while, it seems. He pretty much takes over Colin’s life and care from the first week. Colin’s so gracious and his gratitude is so sincere–but it’s a mutual attraction that they both harbor. However, Colin doesn’t think that he’s worth loving–not by his parents, and certainly not by the dapper man who brings him healthy meals and plans road trips to the best clinics.

This is a pretty quick dash to love, and I was okay with it. James and Colin are both pretty lonely guys when it comes to love. They want to love fully and be loved back–even if Colin’s afraid his diagnosis will reduce his longevity from decades to months. Colin’s health challenges are severe, and his money won’t save him, as the first half of the book is really good about showing. But James’ love, that could save him from depression, if nothing else. Colin is fully honest about his prognosis with James and his entire family, who accept him at face value and won’t accept Colin giving up without a fight. His gratitude is unmeasurable, especially when he gets a huge push toward health.

I liked how Colin decided to pay it forward, which sets up the next story in this Gaynor Beach spin-off series. I enjoyed this story, even though I kind of felt the resolution to Colin’s situation was a bit rushed. I adored James’ family, and felt the love emanate off the page. It’s a happy ending, and has a decent slow burn set-up.