We love an emotionally charged read at Sinfully and one of our favourite authors, Riley Hart, never disappoints. Today we're thrilled to bring you Rock Solid, the first book in her Rock Solid Construction series. It was a winner for Macky...she loved it!
There's also an excerpt and giveaway so don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win an ebook from Riley's backlist titles!
Rock Solid (Rock Solid Construction Crew #1) by Riley Hart
Published ~ 27th April 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Trevor Dixon has made too many mistakes to count. Sober for thirteen months, he’s determined to do the right thing: rebuild his relationship with his family, and help his brother get Rock Solid Construction off the ground. Failing them again isn’t an option. Too bad the first estimate Trevor goes on alone is for an uptight doctor with a superiority complex.
A hand injury took away the only important thing in Dr. Simon Malone’s life—performing heart surgery. He doesn’t do well with people and has no family, but being a damn good surgeon? He always had that. Now, he doesn’t know who he is. The last thing he wants to deal with is the young construction worker who blows his shot at remodeling Simon’s home.
Trevor and Simon form an unlikely friendship. The more time they spend together, the more Trevor starts wondering if maybe Simon’s not as straight—or uptight—as he thought…and maybe Trevor’s new attraction for Simon runs both ways.
There are too many reasons they shouldn’t be together: they have little in common, their age difference, Trevor needing to focus on his sobriety…yet there’s something about each other that they just can’t shake. They don’t feel so lost when they’re together. But with their footing so unsteady, forming a relationship that’s rock solid seems impossible. There’s blow after blow, and the last one just might be powerful enough to crack their foundation for good.
Usually when construction workers are introduced as MC's in a M/M contemporary romance, it conjures up the shirtless, hod carrying, hard bodied, sexy, (usually a bit cheeky) chappie in a hard hat. Flaunting his hotness to the smitten love interest, who more often than not is drawn to a bit of rough, in a blue collar-slash-professional opposites attracts scenario; generally generating a predictable, but still enjoyable storyline with lots of palpable sexual tension, hot steamy sex and the usual touches of angst, conflict and misunderstandings to flesh out the story before it reaches its expected HEA.
I have to be honest, that was pretty much what I thought Rock Solid would be, but even though elements of the above were woven throughout, it was executed in such a way that predictability flew out of the window and what I ended up reading was a truly thoughtful, moving story about two conflicted, damaged men trying to overcome (and cope with) the personal demons affecting both their lives and relationships with the people closest to them.
As a potential couple, twenty something, tattooed, pierced builder, Trevor and slightly older, uptight ex surgeon, Simon do not begin their relationship in a split second, all blazing attraction, or fall in love at first sight. There is no rolling into bed together within the first couple of chapters, no overt flirting and no obvious sexual tension or insta-connection. Not your usual start to this type of love story... and oddly something that usually pulls me away from the story a touch, but this time I actually liked how this one went against the grain.
Trevor's character had a sympathetic pull that endeared him to me straight away. Granted his past actions weren't anything to be proud of, as his addictions had caused him to do stuff he felt he could never fully atone for, but twelve months staying clean, you could see this was a man desperately trying his hardest to redeem himself and put right the wrongs that had made his, and the lives of his friends and family, hell for years. Trust issues being one of the things that continue to disconnect him mainly from the two people whose support he really needs; his mother and more settled twin brother: Blake. Also impeding his own ability to let go and forgive himself. Simon on the other hand was a bit of a cold fish and while I could see why he would be so angry about what happened to him, I wasn't really sure I was going to like him because of his slightly holier than thou, 'god complex surgeon' demeanour and what on the surface appeared to be an understandable but...because of his pissy disposition...not so empathetic self-pity!
However, over the course of the story, that worry melted away when nuggets of information about Simon filtered in, making his attitude clearer. I found myself drawn to the dynamics between the two of them, as Riley subtly, and despite the angst, gently played out their tender love story—from it's initial, slightly antagonistic business meeting, through a tentative, uncertain friendship, to a passionate connection and the books heartfelt emotionally satisfying finish—by cleverly feeding us glimpses of the true persona's, and poignant reasons, behind the illusion they project to protect themselves from being emotionally battered.
By the time their romance truly started to take off, Riley had worked her magic on me and these complex men had completely wormed their way under my skin, buried themselves into my heart and grabbed me into their relationship that even though their worlds were complete opposites, was cemented by the one thing they did have in common; the battle to just get through each day at a time without fucking it up, by not giving in to the fears, guilt’s, and in Trevor's case—addiction—that constantly haunted them.
From being unsure about Simon, who at first introduction appears to Trevor to be straight with an ex-wife in his past, I grew to love him, and in his own way, despite some moments of being an ass when it came to fully opening himself up to openly gay Trevor, did become the more sympathetic character I needed him to be and all I wanted in the end was to see them both happy; in the healthy, healing relationship they deserved to have.
This story made me feel, and if you love an emotionally charged story then this won't disappoint because Riley Hart can write the fuck out of one! I loved the healing process that Simon and Trevor went through and ultimately ended up loving them as people too. It's not an easy journey by any stretch, as there are ups and downs to get over and some serious soul searching to do, but they push through. The love scenes were beautifully written and really showed the depth of the connection they finally make together; made all the more passionate, sizzlingly hot and sensual because the chemistry between them grows in a far more realistic, slow burn way. And Riley throws in a twist at the end that could have seemed contrived but for me added just the right sort of drama to push it to its heart-warming, rewarding conclusion. Another Riley winner for me and a series I'll be following religiously.
In that moment, Trevor wasn’t sure he’d ever felt closer to another human being. They were so different in so many ways…but so similar in others. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t consider giving up. That I don’t miss it. That I don’t think about how much easier it would be to disappear, leave Mom and Blake behind and spend my life drinking and partying it away.” That was a truth he’d never told another soul. There were times he didn’t know if he wanted to stay clean.
“But you don’t. That’s the difference, Trevor. You don’t. You do the right thing because you know how to love people.”
They were closer somehow. He didn’t know if it was himself who’d moved or Simon. He thought maybe it was both of them, they’d both somehow drifted toward one another.
“I’m sorry. I freaked out that last night and I’m not entirely sure why. I shouldn’t have, and I owe you an apology. You’ve been a good friend, and I missed you.” Simon closed his eyes and Trevor’s whole body surged with energy. “I’m not sure I’ve ever told anyone I missed them before,” Simon added.
Trevor didn’t stop to think. He followed every impulse in his body and leaned forward and pressed his mouth to Simon’s. The second their lips touched, Simon’s immediately opened up for him. Trevor dipped his tongue into Simon’s mouth. Suddenly he needed more, more, more.More of everything, so he kissed deeper, harder. He let his hands grab the side of Simon’s face. It was smooth like it always was, and that damned square jaw of his fit just right beneath Trevor’s cupped hand.
He let it slide down, slipped it under Simon’s shirt as he moved closer, and that’s when the mouth beneath his stopped moving and Simon jerked away.
He’d gone off his instinct, acted without thinking. Again, for the millionth time in his life, Trevor knew he fucked up.
Meet Riley Hart
Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She's a hopeless romantic. A lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. If she's not writing, you'll probably find her reading. Riley lives in California with her awesome family, who she is thankful for everyday.
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