Now that my body’s had a taste of what it’s been missing for the past several years, it’s hungry for all the touch it can get.

Linden Bell

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Publisher’s Synopsis:
Sometimes heartache is a blessing in disguise.

I thought my life was perfect, and then I walked in on my boyfriend sleeping with my best friend.

The only person I can turn to now is Donnie, the silver-fox spin instructor who lets me crash at his place. Donnie’s a lot older and he’s still grieving his late husband. My dreams of being a filmmaker have disintegrated along with my relationship.

The worst of life has brought us together. Do we dare create something beautiful out of it?

Point of view:
1st person. Alternating between Conner and Donnie’s perspectives.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
My first book by Linden Bell and it won’t be my last. I absolutely *loved* this. It already had a lot going for it with some of my fav tropes: age gap, nerd/jock, and hurt/comfort plus a silver fox! Add in two characters I immediately fell for and I finished this in one day.

Conner is 26 and working hard at life, career, and his relationship with his boyfriend. Unfortunately, he comes home from the gym one day to find his boyfriend and best friend are cheating on him – together. With nowhere else to go he returns to the gym where he’s immediately comforted by the older (40s) Donnie, The Spin Instructor.

While things initially move kind of fast for these two – it wasn’t the instalove I feared. I like the way Bell gave them months to get to know each other and to work through the tangle of feelings involved. Donnie still working through his grief at being widowed a few years earlier and Conner struggles with how much of his attraction to Donnie may be a reaction to losing his boyfriend & friend.

There are many small hurdles for this couple including the implosion of Connor’s life, each of their insecurity about what the other needs, and how their families will react. I liked the way it gave the story momentum without being overly angsty. Bell was great a mixing all the emotions: grief, humor, uncertainty, and hope. I would be near tears at points and then laughing out loud in the next chapter. I love when a book makes me feel so deeply.

I also really enjoyed all the secondary characters. They brought a depth to story beyond feeling like they were just there to potentially have their own book someday. Yet, I’m invested in all of them and looking forward to seeing them as the series continues.

I was 100% invested in Connor & Donnie’s HEA. I loved the ending and the epilogue. All around a fantastic read.

Content Warnings (possible spoilers):
grief and loss of a spouse, description of fatal car accident, description of homophobic family, cheating secondary characters.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the author and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

About the author:
You can connect with Linden Bell here:

My Favorite Quotes

““Every good workout ends with a blowjob” might as well be the gym’s tagline.”

““Those are protein pancakes.” I stop with the fork in my mouth. Whatever I’ve taken a bite of, it’s not a pancake.”

“Now that my body’s had a taste of what it’s been missing for the past several years, it’s hungry for all the touch it can get.”

“when I lift my gaze to his, I can see my own mess of emotions reflected in his eyes.”

“Life’s not a competition, darling. It’s not a race. We stop and start all the time. We can change directions at any point.”

“He kisses me like I’m oxygen, like I’m water, and he needs this kiss to live to the next minute. He kisses me like I’m his everything.”

Published by rellimreads

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