“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.” ― William Jennings Bryan
Author: Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 208
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: Officer Declan Grant responds to a call at the Hope Cove docks to find Lucas Hale barely alive after being beaten and tossed off his fishing boat. The violent crime rocks this tranquil community where everyone knows each other and doors are rarely locked. Despite Declan being new to Hope Cove, he wants to keep his new home and Lucas safe. He starts by volunteering to care for Lucas after he’s released from the hospital.
Lucas just wants to put the whole incident behind him and move on, but the more he gets to know Declan, the harder he finds it to push Declan and his do-right attitude away. The investigation into the assault continues, but Declan will soon face a moral dilemma, a choice that may topple his tidy life and force him to choose between Lucas and the law.
Review: This is the second book in a trilogy that takes place in Hope Cove, Maine. Cate Ashwood started this series with near perfection when we got our first glimpse into Hope Cove. I know I fell deeply in love with Oliver and Mack in Brokenhearted, and I couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for all of her guys in Book 2.
This time around we get to see Declan’s journey. He meets Lucas in a very unconventional way and ends up saving the man’s life. From the moment Declan lays eyes on Lucas he is obsessed, and it doesn’t take long before he realizes that there may be more to it than just professional interest. Declan can’t seem to make himself leave Lucas’ side at the hospital, no matter how soundly Lucas rejects his presence. When Lucas ends up going home with Declan to recover, the bad attitude seems to have followed.
Slowly and cautiously, Declan starts to gain the other man’s trust. There is a slow burn with these two, and with Lucas being injured, Declan is afraid to make the first move. Once that first move is made, though, Declan takes it as no-holds-barred, and they start a hot and heavy love story. Over time Lucas’ trust in Declan grows, and he confesses everything about his attack to Declan.
From this time on, they start to learn more and more about one another and fall into a very comfortable routine. Declan has asked Lucas to stay and he has agreed. Declan couldn’t have been happier; that is until a lie Declan told comes back to haunt him, and Lucas leaves.
Over the next few months, life becomes nothing but a boring routine for Declan, he has no idea where Lucas is, only that he is safe. It will take time for the assault case to be completed, but that will buy time for Declan to earn back the trust he lost with Lucas, if he ever sees the man again.
I am fully enamored with this series and absolutely loved the first book. This second installment was good, and I loved the fact that Declan got his HEA after he helped along the HEA in the first book. We watch these two men have to overcome their past abuses and learn to trust one another in the process. The only drawback I can see to this story was the sense of too much too soon for both of the men. Other than that, I loved this second book and I am waiting with bated breath for the third story from Hope Cove. Cate Ashwood has got me under her spell, and I don’t want to be let go.
Highly recommend this entire series; everyone needs a little bit of this sweet love story in their lives.