Author ~ Felice Stevens
Published ~ 17 November 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
A weekend fling in Atlantic City couldn’t be more out of socially shy Zach Cohen’s comfort zone, but a bet with his best friends forces him to put aside the humiliation he’s hidden for years, stepping away from his computer screens and on-line world. When he meets Sam Stein, despite their spark, Zach expects nothing more than a night of passion and a kiss goodbye. Yet weeks later, he can’t keep the man out of his head.
After a split second decision with tragic results ends his twenty year police career at the same time his relationship falls apart, Sam Stein is drifting through life. At his best friend’s urging he agrees to a trip to Atlantic City to clear his head. What Sam doesn’t plan on is meeting Zach Cohen, whose sweet nature and honesty has him thinking maybe he could move forward, until Zach leaves him without explanation, reinforcing Sam’s belief that people can’t be trusted.
Well-meaning friends refuse to let Zach and Sam hide from each other, forcing them to realize their weekend is much more than a one night stand. Before that can happen, Zach must come to terms with his past and stand up for his own independence, while Sam has to learn to take a chance and believe in himself and people again. All bets are off when dreams become reality and forever doesn’t seem to be long enough.
This story was just the sweet, romantic tale I wanted for the shy, quiet Zach after meeting him in Beyond the Surface.
For all of Zach’s business success he can’t get over the past hurt and humiliation to move forward with his social life. As much as his outgoing and sometimes overbearing friends, Julian and Marcus, try to pull him out of his mother’s basement and out of his shell, Zach is not like them and not looking to pick up men in a club. As far as Zach is concerned nobody would want him and he is nothing special. While he wouldn’t mind a hook-up he wants much more. A weekend convention in Atlantic City spurs him on to put on a different façade and pretend to be the man he wished he could be, a more self-confident man on the prowl.
Six months ago Sam’s personal and professional life went completely down the tubes and he lost both his job as a cop as well as his cheating boyfriend of two years. He hasn’t forgiven himself or gotten over his good for nothing ex. Being dragged to a convention by his best friend and new boss isn’t exactly what he wants to be doing until he spots the very sexy Zach at the hotel bar and invites him for dinner.
The two share a romantic night together with plans to do it again, but when Zach must unexpectedly leave to help out his mother, yet another problem Zach needs to address, misunderstandings and hurt feelings ensue. Luckily for both men their friends know what’s good for them and aren’t afraid to let them know and even give them a good hard shove in the right direction. While Sam may be hurt, he hasn’t been able to forget Zach and Zach isn’t about to let the best thing to happen to him in a long time walk away without a fight.
This book moved along so nicely and Felice Stevens created two incredibly lovable MC’s in Zach and Sam. The men are kindred spirits, both lonely, both romantics and both needing something or someone to pull them out of the holes they are hiding in. Neither sees themselves as a person the other would want; both struggling with pain and regret from past relationships.
After the initial doubt and mistrust passes Zach and Sam begin to face their fears. The book doesn’t get overly angsty, but each man has some hurdles to overcome. Zach, has spent years hiding parts of himself from his friends and his mother and realizes that in order to build a life with Sam he’s going to have to come out and come clean.
The story easily works as a standalone, but fans of the first book will be glad to get more of Marcus, Nick and Julian. As I’m looking back over my Kindle notations for this review there aren’t many and I realize that’s because I was just reading along and enjoying the ride. If you want a story about two men who really deserve it, finding love and happiness, I definitely recommend you pick this one up. Add in a bit of steam, some incredibly tender moments and kite flying on the beach and this may just be Felice Stevens’ most romantic book yet!
“It was a kiss of tenderness and sweetness. A kiss that spoke of early mornings and late nights. A kiss of forever.”