Title: Shifting Views (The Carlisles: Book Four)
Author: Meg Harding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: This book wasn’t as fluid as the others in the series, but I think that is because of the quirky personalities of Ethan and Denver. All in all, I really enjoyed it.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: Successful fashion model Denver Carlisle is finally living on his own. He’s got a new apartment, a neighbor who has a problem shutting his blinds, and a local bakery with an owner who makes his knees weak. It’s raining men, and Denver hasn’t gotten any in a long time. Going out on a limb, he asks Ethan Monahan out and resorts to a little exhibitionism for his neighbor. Only to be turned down by both. That’s a first.
Ethan Monahan runs his own bakery and has a new neighbor who walks around naked. The latter is a little too distracting. When his naked neighbor turns out to be none other than model Denver Carlisle—and the customer who asked him out—Ethan tries to make amends. In a purely friendly way.
Friendship leads to more, and both men find themselves in over their heads with emotions and compromises. Denver has trust issues that could span the Sahara, and Ethan is a product of the foster system with a chip on his shoulder and a serious wariness of those with money. There’s only one way to reconcile their issues: work together.
Review: Shifting Views is book four in the Carlisles series, and covers the romance of the last single sibling in this rather large, gregarious family. The books do not have to be read in order, but because we are talking a family here, all the characters overlap from one book to the next. It’s one of the things I like about this series because it’s nice to revisit the previous romances and see how they have matured. In book four we meet Denver and Ethan, and in true Carlisle fashion, the road to love is not an easy one. As with all these books, it’s about the romance. There isn’t a great deal of angst, just hurdles to overcome for these guys to find their HEA. Harding’s writing is character driven and I truly enjoyed meeting these men.
Denver is an endearing man-child. From an early age, he found out that people wanted to take pictures of him and pay him huge sums of money for the privilege. He’s never truly been on his own; being in business with his twin, and coming from a huge family, Denver has always had someone else around to make any and all decisions about his life. Now his other half has found his true love, and Denver is faced with the crisis of being the only one in his family who’s unattached. For the first time in his life, he is living alone, shopping for paint samples in colors only he cares about, and picking furniture for his own taste level. Pretty heavy stuff for a man in his early thirties who lives on candy and junk food and has a simplistic view of the world, courtesy of all the money he has made modeling. He longs for someone to love him like what he sees with his siblings, but, frankly, he has some trust issues and as such, doesn’t see it in the cards for his life. Oftentimes I found Denver’s character a little on the annoying side, and his simple uncluttered view of the world a touch heavy on the naïve side.
Georgina sighs. “You put off crushing. And now you are.”
“Crushes aren’t logical. Feelings aren’t logical. Denver, you are absolutely not logical. Stop looking for it when there is none.”
Ethan has had it rough. Growing up in foster care, he has issues—he knows he does. He has worked extremely hard to have a successful business, and it shows in the passion for the pastries he creates. Ethan was a little too one dimensional for me—Harding took the same old, same old gay foster child storyline but didn’t try to change it up or refresh it any way. Like Denver with the modeling, Ethan has a tunnel view on his bakery, and, frankly, it seems to be a success almost in spite of him. Harding creating the character of Casey really gives Ethan depth, as she brings another dimension to Ethan and makes him relatable. Her’s and Cole’s humor around the bakery, and the insight they provide, really made me start to root for Ethan.
Both are awkward men. Their personalities are awkward. The beginning of their romance is awkward. But, not every romance in the world starts off with a bang and moves on from there. Some are just strange, off kilter, self-conscious disasters that cause you to blush, stammer and, in general, end with you in a mortified puddle of goo. That’s these two men. It’s realistic. It’s a light-hearted look at everyday people who are full of flaws but need someone to love them anyway. And, that is what I truly love about Harding’s writing. Her real-life people.
This book wasn’t as fluid as the others in the series, but I think that is because of the quirky personalities of Ethan and Denver. All in all, I really enjoyed it. I did a great deal of smiling and some outright laughing at these two, and their HEA left me with a warm feeling of “well done.” I think it was an admirable way to end the series. Was it my favorite? No, that belongs to book one, Dinner for One, and Bastien and James’ story, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy this one. I recommend this for anyone looking for a solid romantic story with little angst and a whole family of HEA.
You can buy Shifting Views here: