This is the first book in the Rock Bay series.
- Coming Home (book # 1)
- Letting Go (book # 2)
- Finding Shelter (book #3)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
So what did I think?
This book was a nice way to spend an afternoon! I loved both the main characters. The plot kept moving, drama interspersed with the romance of Lex and Tallis.
Lex was attracted to Tallis in high school (Tallis must have been extraordinarily good looking for Lex to be attracted despite how Tallis treated him!) but Tally was a terrible bully. Things go badly for Tally and after losing his job and home, he returns to town. Lex is such a wonderful and forgiving man that he offers Tally a job, despite the reaction of his friends, family and rest of town.
Very quickly Lex recognises that Tally has changed but not everyone thinks so because Tally has also been tarnished by his father’s actions. Lex looks beyond their past and sees the man that Tally is now.“He couldn’t believe Lex was publicly going to bat for him. Why? He understood that Lex had to stand by his business decisions, but it felt so personal. Like a victory.”
Both men quickly realise that they love each other but in true romance fashion, don’t want to admit their feelings. “Just tell him how you feel.” She grinned. “Why do men have to make things so difficult?” Just tell him. Sure. Easy as pie.
The story reflects on the past, how the characters behaved in high school, including Brock who used to be Tally’s good friend. Brock is an influential man in the town, although he is a drunk, a womanizer and still gives Lex a hard time about his sexuality. Tally plays along with him, delaying coming and out and in the meantime, not standing by Lex. This was the main part of the story that I couldn’t understand. For a man in love, Tally behaved pretty appallingly! Interesting, when you read the second book, it makes more sense. The timeline of the second book Letting Go overlaps with this first book of the series, and provides more insight into Tally’s actions as Drew explains what he asked Tally to do for him.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, loved the characters and it ticked the boxes for a happy ever after ending! 3.5 stars
For more information on M.J. O’Shea and her book visit the website.