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Books 5 & 6 of The Men of Riverside series by Serena Yates

Men of Riverside explores the lives of a group of men who all share a high school in the fictional town of Riverside, Texas. Not all of them know they are destined to be couples. Some of them believe they are only friends.

Circumstances and life separate them, sometimes for several years. But luck, determination and love will help them get the reunions they deserve.

Reading Order:

  • Finding Elliot (book #1) 
  • Rediscovering Adrian (book #2) 
  • Understanding Mark (book #3) 
  • Saving Zeke (book #4)
  • Forgiving Jason (book #5)  – in this review
  • Loving Vincent (book #6) – in this review
  • Convincing Landon (book #7)
  • Helping Harry (book #8)

Forgiving Jason (Men of Riverside, #5)Forgiving Jason by Serena Yates

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Jason vows to protect Steve from the bigots who attacked him, but can Steve forgive Jason for what he’s done?

Steve Jacobi is a window washer who is very focused on his financial independence. He’s always known that he’s bisexual, but never had the courage to approach one of the men he was interested in. Relationships have taken a back seat in his life…until goes car shopping and meets Jason Fortin.

Jason is a fun-loving salesman who likes his job. He hasn’t come out because he’s never met a man he was interested enough in. Yet he has no problem approaching Steve, and their relationship quickly develops to the point where Jason is ready for more.

But when bigots attack Steve, Jason reconsiders. Can Steve forgive him for the pain his protectiveness causes them both?

So what did I think?

In the previous book Saving Zeke, Zeke finally acknowledged his feelings for his best friend Ben. In this book, it is his brother Jason’s turn.

Jason runs into Steve, someone he’d had a crush on in high school but they had lost touch when Steve graduated. He starts to feel some very strong feelings for Steve that make him think that maybe he shouldn’t be hiding his sexuality. “Maybe it ran in the family? Not just the being gay, but hiding it until they met the man they were ready to break all the rules for.”

Together the young men explore their sexuality. Neither of them have any experience so it is nice to see things progress slowly in the book and to see them show such concern for each other.

They face harassment in both their places of work. Jason deals with a colleague threatening to out him before he is ready but Steve faces worse from his homophobic work mates at the company where he washes windows.

Jason makes the decision to leave Steve so as to protect him and the story follows Steve and Jason as Jason works hard to get another chance.

A nice story about second chances!

3 Stars

Loving Vicente (Men of Riverside, #6)Loving Vicente by Serena Yates

My rating: 3.5 of f 5 stars

The Blurb…

William loves Vicente with all his heart, but can he give him the life he deserves, free from financial worries and danger, without making Vicente lose his self-respect?

William Fortin is a forensic scientist who has returned to Riverside after six years for his first job. He wants a social life and to settle down, and when he runs into his old crush from high school, Vicente Vasquez, he knows he has found the man of his dreams.

Vicente is a shy Mexican American who works hard so he can pay for the medical care his wheelchair bound father needs. He is a courier by day and a bartender by night, just to try to make ends meet. Dating the man who was his science tutor in high school is a dream come true.

But how can they possibly be partners when Vicente is struggling just to keep the creditors at bay and his traditional family can’t possibly find out he’s gay?

So what did I think?

What I like about this series is the love, support and happy endings. What I don’t like so much is the familiarity between each story. Once again we have two young men who crushed on each other in high school but haven’t seen each other in a long time. Both are very much in the closet.

For some reason, even though Vicente thought he was pretty good friends with William who used to tutor him, he didn’t hear from him once he left for college. Now William is back and awakened feelings in Vicente that he had kept suppressed for three years. Vicente’s family would not be supportive of him being gay, particularly his gang-involved brother.

This doesn’t stop Vicente lusting after William and wanting to find out more about him including whether he is gay. Luckily Vicente can get information from his best friend Steve who is dating William’s brother, Jason. William and Jason have a third brother, Zeke who is bisexual. “It was wishful thinking to hope the third brother was gay as well. Did that even happen? Probably not.” Well, he was proven wrong because this is Riverside so of course William is also gay!

Zeke’s story can be found in Saving Zeke and Jason’s story in Forgiving Jason

William is a shy scientist who doesn’t have much relationship experience “I was always too busy studying anyway, and for a long time I just thought I was a late bloomer.” “Yeah, like really late. You’re almost twenty-five, man.” So William and Vicente start a relationship. Drama unfolds as they try to hide the relationship from Vicente’s threatening and aggressive brother but they fight to be together in the end.

Relatively short, a nice couple with a good bit of drama. I wasn’t sure about the relevance of William lending Vicente money to care for his father’s debts and it seemed a strange thing to do so early in the relationship but it was nice to know that Vicente would get a bright future with his man and not have to face financial stress.

3.5 stars

4 Stars

To find out more about Serena Yates and her books, visit her website.

Buy the Men of Riverside Series from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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