Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Release Date: June 3 2016
Length: 60,000 words
Buy Link: myBook.to/Always_Another_Side
Starting over at forty is hard work for landscape architect Jack Bowman. His long-term partner hurt him badly. With his self-esteem dented by the break up, trusting a new lover is going to take time.
Tyler Freeman is equally unlucky when it comes to love. Now that he’s over thirty-five, he’s tired of getting played. All he wants is someone special. How hard can it be to meet a man who’s honest, with no hidden surprises?
Being set up on a blind date might be a classic cliché, but it’s a stroke of good luck for Jack and Tyler. They have a lot in common, including previous relationships steeped in deceit, but it’s worth navigating their trust issues if it means laying those ghosts to rest.
Making it work finally seems possible—until an accidental discovery threatens their newfound happiness.
Everyone said their goodbyes, and Jack tried not to notice the blatant, knowing looks being passed around. He had no doubt he’d be getting some nosy texts later. On the plus side, at least he wouldn’t be the only one.
Now it was only the two of them, they wandered into the bar area and snagged a small table by the fireplace. It wasn’t lit—the late-April weather had been far too mild to warrant an open fire. The Saturday-night crowd from earlier had clearly moved on to somewhere else, and the room had quietened considerably.
“Thanks for offering me a lift.” Tyler smiled and took a sip of his drink. “I wasn’t ready to leave yet.”
“Me neither.” Jack had bought another Coke, and he ran his finger down through the condensation on the outside of the glass. “I have to admit I was a bit—a lot sceptical about whether or not this was a good idea.”
Tyler glanced up and met his gaze. “Meeting me?”
Jack’s smile was wry. “I was talking about the whole blind date thing, but yeah… I guess it was meeting you in general.” He cringed as he said it, perhaps not the best thing to say to someone whom you were hoping to go out with again. And despite Jack’s misgivings and preconceptions, he liked Tyler.
Tyler cocked his head to one side and frowned, as though he wasn’t sure how to feel about that. Jack had probably offended him, because no one liked to hear that sort of thing. But then, he’d offered to drive Tyler home so they could spend more time together—alone—so Tyler must realise Jack wanted to get to know him better. Or maybe not. If Jack had learned one thing from his breakup with Simon, it was that communication was key. Never assume someone knew what you meant or what you were thinking.
“I know that sounds bad, and it’s nothing personal. Christ, I’m pulling out all the clichés tonight, but it really was a case of it being me and not you.” Jack laughed and scrubbed a hand over his face. “Shit. Just when it was going so well. I’ve managed to fuck it up, haven’t I?”
I always enjoy Annabelle’s writing and her very English characters and settings. I had the pleasure of proofreading this story and loved it. It made a change to read about older men facing the challenge of dating again after being hurt by their previous partners and left in a vulnerable state. It’s a realistic and romantic tale of seeking a second chance at love and my heart went out to both guys.
Jack’s longtime partner had cheated on him and Tyler’s previous relationship ended in disaster. They are attracted to each other and get on well, but are wary of falling again and getting hurt. They lay their feelings and worries on the line quite boldly from the start. Although the idea of dating again is daunting, being mature men, they know what they want and go about getting it, albeit rather carefully. Both these insecure men want to be loved, but are cautious for much of the story because of their painful pasts are still very much in the present. They spend time on their conversations and speak with honesty. No miscommunication or major tantrums here. It’s all about slowly learning to trust someone else again. I adored how Annabelle expresses their thoughts and feelings and loved how fate worked its way into their lives.
This touching story is well paced and held my interest throughout. It’s about these two guys working things out between themselves, forging how they want their relationship to work, and learning to realize there is always another side to a story. They have supportive friends and families and these characters all added to my enjoyment of the story. The short epilogue was sweet and finally gave the guys their HEA.
Can I just say I love the cover guy! *sighs*
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.