Title: Tempting Tristan (Harborside Night: Book Three)
Author: Melissa Foster
Publisher: World Literary Press
Length: 300 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Contemporary Romance
At a Glance: If you enjoy contemporary romance with likeable characters and no over-the-top angst, this book is worth the read.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Tempting Tristan is a stand-alone M/M romance featuring two sexy, hot alphas.
Fresh off the heels of yet another bad relationship, Tristan Brewer is taking a break from men to try and figure out where he keeps going wrong. He knows his biggest fault–he leads with his heart, not his head–and that’s never going to change. But after several introspective weeks, he’s beginning to get a handle on things. That is, until badass heartthrob Alex Wells walks into his bar…
Alex has spent eight years in the Army, months in a hospital bed, and far too long hiding his sexual identity. He’s guilt-ridden, damaged, pissed off, and up for a Silver Star–for the incident that nearly cost him his life, and kept him from his grandmother’s funeral. But all he wants to do is forget his stint with the institution that allows but doesn’t necessarily accept, and live the life he’s always dreamed of.
The chemistry between Tristan and Alex ignites from the moment they meet, and the more time they spend together the hotter the flames become. But the closer Tristan gets, the more Alex’s walls go up, and when the two walk onto a military base, Tristan finds out Alex’s physical scars aren’t the ones that run the deepest.
Review: Although the blurb states that Tempting Tristan is a stand-alone M/M romance, be aware this is actually the third book in the Harborside Nights series. From what I can tell, each book is essentially a stand-alone romance, but the series itself involves a core group of friends. So, though this book is a stand-alone, there are references to the previous two novels and their protagonists. I didn’t feel lost or that I was missing anything necessary in this particular book, even though I have not read the prior two stories. The information provided was just enough to keep me in the loop as to each of the friends and where the series is headed, and what the prior books were about.
Tempting Tristan is a sweet and hot romance that follows Alex and Tristan, two seemingly opposite men who both have pasts that have left them scarred. Tristan’s scars are internal while Alex’s are external and internal. When they meet, despite Tristan’s attempt to avoid relationships, and Alex’s struggle to accept himself and his situation, the chemistry sizzles and they can’t help but act on the attraction. As they navigate their newly forming relationship, they both have to face themselves and admit their weaknesses and allow the other to be their strength.
The story is told in the first person narrative, which I know for some is not a favorite. However, it is told in dual POVs, each chapter informing the reader of which character’s perspective they are experiencing the story from. It was done really well, in my opinion. I got to know both Tristan and Alex’s feelings for each other, their fears, their “a-ha” moments and how, although they aren’t perfect, they are perfect for each other. Tristan needed what Alex provided emotionally and physically, and Alex needed what Tristan provided him in the same ways.
I especially enjoyed Tristan’s character, through Alex’s eyes. Tristan has a way about him that forces Alex to confront buried pain, fears, and ultimately to accept himself as he is now. Though he forces Alex out of his comfort zone time and time again, he does it in a way that works for Alex, finding ways to push the limits without crossing a line. He is a natural giver and finds ways to make not only Alex but his core group of friends feel better. He truly has a gift with his blunt honesty tempered by his caring nature. Sadly, as often is the case with people who are more inclined to help others emotionally, people have taken advantage of his kindness and desire to help.
Alex is scarred physically, but emotionally he is also a wreck. He has buried so much that he is quick with mood changes. Luckily, Tristan had no problem calling him on his behavior without (for the most part) it turning into a huge battle. Though Alex has so much physical and emotional trauma to overcome, he is constantly fighting to overcome his “failings” to become the man he wants to be for Tristan. It takes a strong man to admit when he has screwed up, and Alex has no problem doing it when he realizes his mistakes. Though there are some blunders on his way to overcoming some of the ways he behaves regarding his sexuality, I adored how he stuck up for Tristan, even when he felt Tristan’s friends unknowingly crossed lines and made comments that were hurtful.
There are quite a few secondary characters that help the two men along the way, with an ear to listen and advice to offer. They don’t take up a huge chunk of time, just enough to give the book and characters more dimension, and feed you tidbits of their personalities (especially the ones that have future books in the series). The banter and the jokes they shared with Tristan, and, eventually, Alex, helped break up some of the more serious nature of the book.
This is a story about two men who meet and navigate a new relationship and the bumps in the road they face on their way to happily ever after. If you enjoy contemporary romance with likeable characters and no over-the-top angst, this book is worth the read.
You can buy Tempting Tristan here:
About the Author
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.
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