Max doesn’t do repeats, and he definitely doesn’t do commitments. Months after a hot encounter with a smooth-talking stranger in a bar room bathroom, Max comes face to face with the same sexy doctor during the unveiling of the community center’s dance studio. And the man is just as pushy and perceptive as Max remembers. Because of their mutual friendships, Max now has to work overtime to keep Dr. Ashton Jackson at arm’s length. Will he succeed in resisting the undeniable attraction he feels toward the man, or will he risk putting his heart on the line for love… again?
Ash isn’t afraid of love. He’s just never met The One. But there was something about the brown-eyed stranger he hooked up with that he can’t get out of his head. When their paths cross again unexpectedly, Ashton hopes to convince the wounded man with the heart of gold to give love a second chance. But what happens when the truth behind Max's heartache threatens to leave Ash questioning everything he's ever believed about himself? Will he too be left broken? Or will he and Max survive the break?
**An M/M romance and book two in the Chadwick trilogy. Can be read as a standalone and contains explicit sex and graphic language.
Before I start babbling about this story...
I'd just like to say that while the blurb says this one can be read as a standalone story and in essence I don't dispute that, I do honestly think that in order to truly appreciate the characters in this story, especially some of the secondary characters, reading the first book would definitely be highly beneficial.
I finished reading this one a couple of days ago and while a lot of it was ok, it was somewhere in the last 30ish percent that things just seemed to go off the rails for me.
I really liked both Max and Ash when they were introduced in the first book, so when it turned out that this was going to be their story...as in they were going to become a couple, I was all in.
These guys are intelligent, caring, mature, sexy, incredibly intense men who are both have busy lives and established careers. They also have a bit of baggage from their past that each of them needs to deal with. Max's is a bit more recent and definitely something that would shatter the strongest of hearts. While Ash's issues aren't as recent, in their own way they prove to be just as detrimental to the relationship that he and Max are trying to build if for no other reason than the fact that the heart and mind can only bury things for so long before it all begins to take a toll.
I loved watching their mating dance as Max tried to deny his feelings and keep a very determined Ash at arms length. With Justin as a friend and his partner Damon being Ash's best friend Max knows that avoiding Ash completely isn't something that's going to happen but he's determined to keep things from going beyond friendly between them. Ash on the other hand is determined that friends is only the beginning of what's between him and Max.
I loved that their relationship was built on talking and time spent together outside of the bedroom as well as in the bedroom, all combined to present an incredibly strong and intense relationship.
Along with the romance that we got in this one, I loved having another peek at Justin and Damon, Pete, Sam and a few others so honestly the first 60ish percent of this one for me was easily 4 very shiny stars...however...
and here is where I get vague because this is me and there are a lot of other reviews out there that present a different school of thought about the ending of this story and I'm not prepared to spoil things or dissuade someone who might feel as they do from enjoying this story...so bottom line...the last part of this book had some things that just...did...not...work...for me.
One of the things that took away from my enjoyment of the ending was the time gap between the ending of the book and the epilogue. I truly felt like that time gap covered some crucial relationship development that would have been nice to see at least a little bit of for a couple of reasons...one it might have helped me in regards to the ending of the story (point 'A') and it very possibly would have given a better connection to the epilogue (point 'B') but as I said earlier these are my thoughts as to part of the reason that things went off the rails for me and there are a number of readers/reviewers out there who feel differently...it's not a right or a wrong thing just different.
I loved the first book and while I may not have loved this one for the most part I liked it and I'm still looking forward to finding out what comes next in the final installment of 'The Chadwick Trilogy'.
An ARC of Surviving the Break' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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