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“Tallis Carrington ruled Rock Bay with his gang of jocks and an iron fist—until a scandal destroyed his family’s name. Ten years later Tallis is dead broke, newly homeless, and on the walk of shame to end all walks of shame. He needs money and needs it fast, and Rock Bay is the only home he knows. But the people of Rock Bay haven’t forgotten him—or the spoiled brat he used to be.

The only person in town willing to overlook his past is Lex, the new coffee shop owner, who offers Tally a job even though he appears to despise Tally based on his reputation alone. When Tally discovers his gorgeous boss is the kid he tortured back in high school, Lex’s hot and cold routine finally makes sense. Now Tally has to pull out all the stops to prove he was never really the jerk he seemed to be. After all, if he can win Lex’s heart, the rest of the town should be a piece of coffee cake.”

This was one of those books that someone I was seeing gave me when they were cleaning out their bookcase. Never really put much thought into it or even really noticed it until I picked it up one morning to read on the way to work.

The book follows the classic romance novel path of instant attraction, tragic backstory, get closer, have a fight, break up, get back together. It was pretty much a stereotypical gay romance novel. Noting too new or exciting, except for the huge emphasis on condom use for partners until everyone tests negative (though really the only test they really mention is HIV, which is by far the only STI/STD). Though I was perturbed that the ultimate expression of togetherness was condomless sex. Why is this the end all be all of closeness?

The characters were cute. I liked that the tragic backstory was mostly in the past, but had created these rifts in the present. What I didn’t like was Tally’s old friend coming out as bi. That was a cop-out and a way to lessen the blow of the tragic backstory. That and the condom thing are the main reasons this book wasn’t perfect.

The actual romance was very cute. Tally tried really hard, Lex was driven by his body. He had lusted after Tally all his life. It made for a dramatic and very intriguing romance.

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4.5 out of 5 stars. I would highly recommend this book.

You can buy this book here.