Tattoo artist Max Marshall races into his hometown of Sweetwater, West Virginia—and is promptly pulled over for speeding. Max’s luck isn’t all bad, though, because he recognizes the deputy, Tyler Reed, Max’s childhood best friend’s older brother.
Reconnecting with Tyler helps Max settle back in, and it also leads to attraction. But when he tries to explore that connection at the grand opening of his tattoo studio—by kissing Tyler—awkwardness ensues. Max wants more, but has he misread Tyler’s signals?
As a single father raising a six-year-old daughter, Tyler doesn’t have much time to date. He’s ignored his attraction to men for years, but he can’t stop thinking about the kiss he shared with Max. If he can handle the complications of dating in a small town and the possible consequences to his career, this romance could blossom with all the colors of summer.
While there were several things about this story that I liked...
what there wasn’t, was a lot or even much that I really loved. So let's just chat about this for a bit...in fact let's start with Max and Tyler, the MCs of this story. Both of them very likable people.
Max left his hometown of Sweetwater for college and other than to visit his mom moving back was never a plan until his mom has a stroke and Max finds that he needs to change direction with his life. Max decides it’s time to return home to be closer to his mom during her recovery and takes advantage of the opportunity to open his own tattoo shop.
Tyler left Sweetwater too, but he’s been back for awhile. However, Tyler’s return was prompted by an entirely different set of circumstances. Six years earlier Max suddenly finds himself a single parent with a daughter to raise and decides what better place to raise a child than the place that held his own happy childhood memories and a loving family to help him. Max readily sets aside the dreams of his youth for the reality of his current life.
If it hadn't been for a tense and dangerous situation that happened towards the end of the story I'm not sure if Tyler and Max would have actually progressed to an actual relationship and even then I just didn't feel the connection between them...truthfully, I felt like Max had a stronger commitment to Juniper and I had no problem imagining him as her other dad.
I liked that the setting was a small town, but somehow I just didn’t get that small town vibe that tends to just draw me that little bit further into the story…so yeah, liked but for me the small town love just wasn’t there.
I love that both of these men were older Max was nearly 30 and Tyler was just a few years older and I’m a fan of MCs who have a bit of life under their belt. I also loved that both of these men had pretty awesome families. While not everyone is blessed with a loving and supportive family sometimes it’s nice to read stories where it’s more the norm than the exception. Also high on the me-likey-list was 'Juniper', Tyler's adorably precocious daughter.
At the end of it all we've got a sexy guy with tats, a hot cop with an adorable daughter, two men with very likable families an definite plus for me and yet in spite of all this the connection between Tyler and Max that should have been there wasn't and the sex that should have been scorching hot really just wasn't.
An ARC of 'The Color of Summer' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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