From the blurb:
Two men with a shared history and a mutual attraction must be honest with themselves and each other so both their dreams come true.
Quiet, unassuming Tanner Sellers spends his time running a diner in Hope, Arizona. Not particularly social, twenty-two-year-old Tanner keeps to himself and enjoys his simple life, but he longs for someone to call his own. In his most secret fantasy, that someone is sexy Steve Faus. But Steve is his friend’s father and mentor’s widower and therefore off-limits.
Despite some challenges, thirty-nine-year-old Steve Faus has had a good life. He’s extremely successful at work, has a great relationship with his college-age son, and lives in a wonderful town. Eighteen months after losing his partner, the one thing Steve lacks is someone to share his life. If Steve is honest with himself, that someone is the young man he has known and cared about for years. Steve and Tanner want one another, all they need is a little push in the right direction to make both their dreams come true.
I've got a song stuck in my head. You know Jesse's Girl by Rick Springfield? My version goes "You know I wish that I had Jesse's guy! I wish that I had Jesse's guy! Where can I find a fellow like that?"
*clears throat* Anyway.
Tanner is a shy 22 year old virgin who has major crush on muscular 39 year widower Steve Faus (aka Jesse's guy). Steve's son (Tanner's best friend) convinces Tanner to visit Steve to make sure he's doing alright. This quickly leads to smuff. I'm talking about smut and fluff, people, something at which Cardeno excels. Tanner and Steve are just so sweet and sexy together.
I only have a couple of teeny tiny niggles. Both are just my own thing, really. First, I do like how Cardeno creates characters that know each other before the start of the novella (which is true of both this one and the first book in the series, McFarland's Farm). That way it doesn't feel totally unrealistic when they start whipping out the "I love you's." However, in this book I still felt like the relationship between Tanner and Steve happened quite suddenly. I was as shocked as Tanner when Steve started flirting with him. (Though what the hell did I think was going to happen? It's a freaking romance novel.) Maybe that's because Steve's a widower. Yeah, it's been a year and a half, but I'm weird about widows and widowers. Normally I avoid books where someone's lost their life partner because I feel uncomfortable with it for whatever reason. But this is Cardeno and I couldn't resist -- and I'm glad I didn't.
My other niggle is the whole virgin thing. I love books with virgins but what's up with people who think that if they've never had a dick in their hoo haa (whether their hoo haa is a vagina or an anus) they're still a virgin? Tanner and Steve spend a week sharing a bed, sharing bodily fluids, but they agree Tanner's still a virgin because there hasn't been any of the old in and out. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the first deep dickin' scene, but in my mind if you're picking flakes of cum off your stomach, or any other area, you are no longer a virgin.
Anyway, this is a sweet, fluffy, feel good read -- just what we want most in a Cardeno book. I definitely recommend it. Also, at the very end of this novella there's a really lovely dedication from Cardeno to a friend who seems to have passed on. *can't speak* *verklempt* It is so touching and I love what it says about friendship. The dedication alone is worth the price of admission.
** A free copy of this book was provided by the author. A positive review was not promised in return. **
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