ARC via Gay Romance Reviews. Available on Amazon February 29th.
If they want to be together, they have to forgive…
Dawson is America’s it boy.
Being a Hollywood A-list actor has come with its cost. And if he doesn’t want to lose everything, his secret must stay in the closet.
He never imagined a quick trip to his parents’ new home would bring him back. His first, and last, love. The one that ran away.
Leo has failed at everything.
Dead-end modelling career? Check.
Short-lived boy band fame? Check.
Critically panned West End debut? Check.
But, finally, he’s about to catch his big break.
Going back home after nearly two decades was meant to be a short stop before following his dream. Instead, he’s forced to face his past…and the ex that betrayed him.
Seeing each other again opens old wounds and their hatred is hard to hide. Or is it the spark that is still alive? They failed being in a relationship once. Should they even try a second time?
Welcome to Cedarwood Beach, VA, where the men are hot, the attraction palpable, and the happy ever after unavoidable.
Fresh Start is the first book in the Cedarwood Beach small town romance series and is completely standalone. It contains two rivals in close quarters, a Butterfly festival, and a young niece hell-bent on getting her uncle his happily ever after.
Point of view:
1st person. Alternating POVs by chapter.
This was a wonderful fairly low-angst story full of some of my favorite tropes: small town, second chance, positively meddling family, and a splash of adorable youngster as an added bonus. Rhys Everly did an excellent job of immersing us into Dawson and Leo’s lives as individuals so that we could fall in love with them as they did with each other. What I especially appreciated was Everly’s ability to make two superstars seem so normal and relatable. This story was also a “coming home” for both men as they repaired strained relationships with their individual families, a healing so important for all involved. There is a “big misunderstanding”, but it is resolved somewhat quickly and I appreciated not feeling like it dragged on. While Everly included enough steamy scenes to satisfy, it didn’t overshadow Dawson and Leo’s emotional reconnecting.
Fresh Start also provides a basic introduction to the town of Cedarwood Beach as well as a slight glimpse into some of the characters that will be featured in the series. I’m looking forward to book 2, Wayward Love.
Trigger Warnings (possible spoilers):
Dawson was in an emotionally abusive/controlling/sexually manipulative relationship with his first manager, off page.
I received a free advanced copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
My Favorite Quotes
That’s what relationships are. Trusting in someone that will forgive you when you make mistakes. Because we’re all human. @rhyswritesmm @_gayromreviews #MM #SecondChance #SmallTownRomance #NewReleaseTweet
We’d been in love once before. Was I in love with him again? @rhyswritesmm @_gayromreviews #MM #SecondChance #SmallTownRomance #NewReleaseTweet