Workaholic Nate Erickson is a successful real estate developer who thrives on long hours and stress. When a Los Angeles project prompts him to relocate to Santa Monica, he welcomes the change of scenery. Nate has always considered romantic entanglements trouble, but his sexy next-door neighbor isn't easy to ignore. Which makes no sense, because Nate is straight...or so he's always thought.
Alex Reyes is a retired professional soccer player turned West Hollywood business owner with an insatiable lust for life. He loves his family, friends, and work. But there's one life challenge left to accomplish: coming out publicly. Respect for traditional Latino values has kept him in the closet, but Alex begins to think he and his new neighbor might help one another combat their fears. As Alex and Nate forge a strong friendship, they soon realize facing their personal demons will take more courage than either man bargained for. The reward is immeasurable...if the timing is right.
©2015 Lane Hayes (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
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"True love brings ultimate healing"
The author's story is powerful and believeable. The characters likeable, and the Californian setting was dreamy. The performance by the reader was simply amazing.
"enjoying series but..."
The narrator's pronunciation of some Spanish locations are horrendous. LA was home for me. So when a name or location is slaughtered it takes away from the escapism of the story.
"It will get better"
The two men in this book come from different place in life. One is in the real estate market preparing for a major deal. Nate has been straight all his life without ever suspecting he might be bi or gay
Alex is a retired hockey player who is openly gay and when he and Nate meet they both are drawn to one another but don't know why.
The telling of their love story is an enjoyable experience.
Excellent story, series, and narrator! It's a happy story, great to escape life into. Can't wait to see what comes next.
"Gripping and entertaining"
This book is a great love story with an unexpected life experience. Heartwarming and touching with subtle humor.
"Great story and superb narration."
“I didn’t know what was missing in my life until I met you.”
Sometimes you need to wait for The Right Time to make certain decisions in your life and for the right things to happen to you. Luckily for Nate and Alex, they meet at the right time, although they don’t realise the impact this will have on their future.
At the start, Nate comes across as a bit of a grump. He’s a workaholic, who prefers his own company or being with close friends. He doesn’t like going out much. Gradually, the sad events in his past are revealed. He has a lot of personal baggage, which he keeps to himself at first. He’s not really looking to give his heart away to anyone and is using his temporary relocation as a break from his lonely life.
Soon after meeting Alex, his handsome landlord, he questions his reaction to him. “I gulped, wondering what the fuck was wrong with me. Why was I noticing this stuff? It wasn’t like me. At all.” Despite this initial response, it becomes clear that Nate is bi, although he’s been suppressing his ‘gay side’ for fifteen years after a bad experience. He’s attracted to Alex— not surprisingly as he is a charismatic and sexy man who warms up Nate’s rather cold and distant personality through his teasing and attention. There are some beautiful and amusing moments as they spend time together, become friends, and then sort of lovers. Alex comes across as self-assured and hot-blooded, yet calm and patient when needed.
However, for me, Alex is not as perfect as he seems and is often rather self-absorbed and unsure of exactly what he wants at times. This inconsistency in his personality threw me as I listened. For such a confident and gregarious person, I was surprised he was still in the closet. Yes, his friends and family were aware, but the fans and players from his previous sporting career were not. Early on in the story, Alex intends to come out officially and thinks up a weird scheme using Nate as a fake boyfriend to come out to his disapproving father before he comes out publicly. This confused me, because we discover his father already knew, although he refused to acknowledge Alex’s sexuality for years. Whatever the intention, this ‘let’s pretend to be boyfriends’ plan helps to bond Alex and Nate and allows Nate to work through his ‘gay’ feelings.
I liked the slow build of their friendship and the sizzling undercurrent as they get to know each other; they share conversations, dinners and music, run together, go to the gym and beach, help out at the local LGBT centre, and have no-commitment sex. Alex treats it all as a game, although I had a feeling it was a way of showing intimacy without letting Nate know how he felt about him. Thanks to their ‘friends with benefits’ style relationship we are treated to several hot and sexy scenes between the two men. The whole story oozes with sexual tension. I liked how these guys almost slipped into a relationship as their attraction and love grew, although at times I thought Alex was implying it was still a game to him later on. There were a few scenes, including the one after they make love for the first time, where the story jumped ahead. I wanted them to cuddle up and discuss where they stood with each other. But it seems neither of them were confident enough to express how they feel and that leaves them both guessing. I liked the angst as the time to return home approaches and Nate isn’t sure of Alex’s feelings for him and he doubts any possibility of a future together.
Jules, Nate’s ex, is a fly in the ointment. She makes annoying appearances and as the story progresses she comes across as a pathetic hanger-on rather than a true friend. Nate should have dealt with her sooner.
I thought the ending of the story was at odds with the friendship/romance that had blossomed between Nate and Alex. Alex overreacts when he discovers something about Nate’s past, yet in the scene beforehand Alex had actually said he didn’t want to hear when Nate wished to tell him about his past. What did it matter to Alex? I didn’t get his anger, even with his traditional family values. Nate hadn’t lied; he’d just not told him everything. And then wanting to be alone to think things through when all along they have been supporting each other didn’t quite fit. However, we are treated to a lovely angsty scene because of his response and my heart went out to Nate at this point. Luckily, the two lovers sort things out pretty swiftly.
I seem to have nitpicked in this review. But I loved this story despite all these points. The writing is great with lots of feelings and ‘aww’ moments. There are some superb scenes and lovely dialogue.
This third book in the series could easily be read as a standalone, but as it refers to characters from books 1 and 2 you might want to read/listen to them first. I was pleased Bran, Jake and Mack had a role in this story and glad to hear they are still happy together.
Michael Ferraiuolo’s excellent narration has made this whole series particularly enjoyable. I like that he takes on a different voice to represent the POV character for the main narration in each story. His character voices are clearly recognisable and match the personalities he portrays. His voice for Nate was laced with sadness at times and Alex’s Latino dialogue was distinct and sexy.
"great end to a series"
Third in the series and I did all three back to back. Probably not necessary, but one and three have some over lap because Alex appears in one to understand completely it would help. Plus one is a fabulous story! Nate has a small part in book two, but in my opinion we get that exchange.
These two are so smoking together. I just adore them! Alex for the most part where’s his problems on his sleeves, everybody knows. He’s gay, his father refuses to acknowledged it and he has not formally come out. Nate on the other hand, has so many issues. The biggest one being he doesn’t talk about his feelings. And hasn’t. He’s been caring around two huge secrets for years,and now last summer adds another.
As the project that brings Nate to the city goes long, these two start out as friends, learning each other, then start dating but they don’t tell. And as they learn and date so do we. And it’s brilliant. The fun runs, the eating, the clubbing, the music, and the learning of the bodies. All done, slow, and perfect.
Out of the three couples, these two are my favorite. And they deserve the HEA they fought so hard for.
Narrator once again pulled it off, just perfect.
I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review by Crystals many reviewers
"Great narration, not my favorite in the series"
We met Alex in book one, an ex professional soccer player who now runs his own gym. He’s also a landlord and rents Nate a place as Nate works on his latest real estate deal.
Though he’s divorced from a woman, Nate is no stranger to being involved with men. In fact, it’s his past that colors his present belief that it’s “better” and surely “easier” to be involved with women. He claims his bisexuality but is reluctant to act on any male attraction. Alex works to convince him to let his other side out.
Interestingly enough, Alex isn’t out himself because he doesn’t want to let his traditional father down.
They tentatively agree to a “for right now” sexual relationship that morphs into more as time goes on. But when Alex finds out something disturbing from Nate’s past it looks like things are all over.
There were things that really worked for me:
Nate’s eventual willingness to explore his sexuality, giving it his all once his mind was made up.
Seeing the previous MCs again.
The excellent writing
The hot smexy times
The great character development
But… there were some things that didn’t work for me as well:
The drama with Nate’s college girlfriend
Not being able to see things from Alex’s POV
Not understanding exactly why Alex was still stuck in the closet
Overall, I liked it – Lane Hayes is a terrific writer after all, but didn’t love it as much as some of her other works.
3.5 of 5 stars
Michael Ferraiulo is a good narrator. He does a really nice job with the Spanish accents – which really helps to bring this story to life. He does a nice job of giving Nate a voice that seemed to match his personality. I enjoyed listening to this and it definitely increased my enjoyment of this story.
Narration 5 of 5 stars
Overall 4.25 of 5 stars
"Loved this series"
Alex and Nate are so easy to love. The narrator was fantastic. He put so much feeling in his voice and did a great job with each character. I laughed and cried through this one.
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