Title ~ Shifting Gears (Crossroads #2)
Author ~ Riley Hart
Published ~10th February 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Rod Nelson is used to being someone’s good time, and that’s fine with him. Spending his days at his adult toy store, Rods-N-Ends, he never knows who he’ll meet. The second Landon Harrison walks in, he has Rod’s full attention. It seems as if Landon wants him too, so why won't the man jump in the sack with him already?
Landon never thought he’d return home to the town where memories lurk around every corner. He has to admit, Rod makes the adjustment a lot easier. He keeps Landon laughing. Despite the fierce attraction between them, he’s not willing to risk his newfound friendship to get laid.
Neither man wants something serious, but the more they're together, the harder it is to keep their hands to themselves, until eventually they stop trying.
But flings between friends are never simple, and as they attempt to shift gears, diving into their first relationship, they’re slammed with setbacks. If they want to truly move forward, before they hit the open road together, they’re going to have to let go of a past that could make them crash and burn.
Take two gorgeous guys with more than a few issues and vulnerabilities between them, add in a sex shop, hot-sweat inducing sexy times and motorbikes, and you've got another engaging gay romance from one of my fave contemporary M/M writers in the genre...Riley Hart.
I absolutely loved Nick and Bryce's gay for each other story, so was really pleased to see it was extremely likable adult store assistant, Rod Nelson finding love this time around. He might have only had a small part in Crossroads but he did make a pretty big impression.
Now owner of his own sex shop 'Rods-N-Ends, he's a complete and utter sweetie! Flirty, funny, openly gay, genuine and totally unabashed about how much he loves sex, he's the ideal person to run the type of store where most people have to pluck up courage to even walk through the door! His personality making it hard not to fall in love with this endearingly appealing guy, but as they say appearances can be deceptive and as the story advances it becomes all too clear that those lovable traits are also masking a lot of insecurity and self doubt too.
When sexy motorcycle mechanic Landon walks through the door of his store to replenish his favoured stock of lube, Rod goes into full on flirt mode! The physical attraction for them both is instant but bi-sexual Landon, who is harbouring some fairly deep issues of his own, doesn't do the "friends with benefits" thing. Sex brings too many complications into the equation, and as much as he'd love to jump into bed with this free spirited, eyeliner wearing man, he backs off the sex for fear of messing up a potential friendship.
Truth is, at this early stage, Rod would sleep with Landon in a heartbeat whether or not. He’s resigned to having guys just ‘fuck and run’ so he’d be happy enough just having a one nighter with the gorgeous guy, but if keeping Landon around long enough for a chance to wear his defences down means exploring a friendship of sorts...yeah, he's down with that too.
Rod’s constant teasing about sex makes Landon laugh, and only cements the fact that he’s genuinely beginning to like the quirky, straight to the point man, whose relentless flirting discombobulates but kind of charms him at the same time. He simply enjoys being in his company—and the longer Rod is around Landon, the more his feelings about the relationship they’re forming starts to change as well.
So begins an engrossing will they/won't they dance, between two men who can't always see the wood for the trees when it comes to recognising their true feelings for each other. Sometimes fraught with frustration but always endearing, it's a trope that Riley handles so well in this particular love story.
Both coping with daddy issues; hang ups and vulnerabilities begin to blur the lines of their fight to stay friends without benefits. But resistance is futile, and when sex does finally become a part of their tentative relationship, things get hotter, spicier and steamier than a bowl of red hot vindaloo...*Fanning self madly*... complicating things even further, until love finally saves the day! Talk about hot stuff…
What I love about Riley's books, is that she always balances the emotional content of her MC's stories just right. Never failing to make the angst effective enough to stir up plenty of feels, without drawing the drama out so long that you find yourself frustrated to the point of starting to not care; or cutting it so short so that you end up feeling emotionally cheated.
Yes there were times when both Rod and Landon had me sighing at their skittishness and moments when I wanted to shake them for being so obtuse when it came to admitting they were heading into deeper and more meaningful territory, but at the same time that's what makes them such an immensely endearing couple and this story such an entertaining romance. I thought at first they wouldn't quite match up to my love of Bryce and Nick (who feature in this just enough to satiate the need to see them again without taking over the story) but after finishing I can't choose between them now. Looks like Rod and Landon have stole my heart as well.
It all leads to a smile inducing, satisfying ending and an unexpected naughty but verrrry nice hot, kinky little interlude that didn't make it into the main story but was definitely an added bonus. That had me grinning even more.
Shifting Gears gets a big tick from me!
Book 1 : Crossroads
After divorcing the woman he’d been with since he was seventeen, Nick Fuller is starting over. He owns the restaurant of his dreams and he’s determined to meet new people, find new passions, and experience life to its fullest. Easier said than done—that is until he meets his new neighbor, Bryce Tanner…
Bryce is all about a good time. He plans to show Nick how it’s done, help him meet a few women, and enjoy the gift of the single life he’s been given. But things don’t go as planned, and soon they realize they’d rather be together than with anyone else.
Neither man has ever wanted another guy, but there’s a connection between them from the start—a spark they can’t deny. They find themselves navigating an unfamiliar new world and dealing with unforeseen obstacles. Physical desire isn’t enough, and now Nick and Bryce are at a crossroads. They have to decide which way to go: the easy path they’ve always followed, or the one that's determined to trip them up at every turn.
Connect with 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.