Title: The Wrong Man
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
At a Glance: The Wrong Man is a fabulous journey that I am so very pleased to have taken.
Reviewed By: Jackie
Blurb: Successful owner of an upscale boutique in fabulous West Hollywood, Brandon Good swears by his personal edict to “live in the present.” After a bad breakup, he agrees to dog-sit to keep his mind off his ex. Never did he expect the dog to belong to a man from his past, the only man to ever truly break his heart.
When Jake Westley relocates to join the WeHo fire department, the last thing he anticipates is reuniting with his secret high school love. Thrilled with the prospect of reconnecting with Bran, Jake feels no guilt in using his charming old dog as an unwitting matchmaker. As he and Bran rekindle their friendship, it becomes clear the intense attraction they once felt is stronger than ever. But as hard as they try to leave the past behind, painful memories resurface. Bran will have to confront his fears and consider the possibility that the man he swore was absolutely the wrong one might be perfect after all.
Review: Normally when I read a book with a “past hurts” storyline, there is a definite right and a definite wrong. In this story there really wasn’t; there was a lot of gray. What Jake did was hurtful, but it was far from the worst he could have done to Brandon. However, when we are in high school everything is magnified and seems like life and death. What we do with our past hurts and how we grow from them is how we know we are growing up.
Brandon Good seemed to me like he still had some growing up to do. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I LOVED Brandon in the first book, and I loved him even more in this book. Having said that, though, it was heartbreaking to see him hold onto the pain from his past so tightly that it kept him from living a full life now. It was obvious from his first interaction with Jake that they both still had plenty of deep feelings for one another. Even though Jake was more than willing to begin again with Brandon, it seems that Brandon has a few concerns about being anything more than friends with Jake.
Jake is just out of a relationship and has a new job at the WeHo fire department, and he is determined to use every weapon in his arsenal to win back Brandon’s trust. It seems the way to Brandon’s heart goes directly through Jake’s dog.
Both Brandon and Jake spend most of the book falling in love with each other without even realizing it. It was so much fun witnessing these two go along with blinders on, where their relationship was concerned. Every time they would begin to get close to real “feelings,” Brandon would run scared and Jake would let him, right up until Jake just couldn’t do it anymore, and he basically decided if he couldn’t have all of Brandon, they just weren’t going to work out.
Brandon was a little slow on the uptake when it came to his feelings for Jake, but when the truth hits him in the face, it could be too late. He has to learn to forgive youthful mistakes and also realize that he may not have been totally blameless in the situation.
The struggle these two went through was not only credible, but I bet some of us know people who may have lived this book. I loved both of these characters, and yes, the dog was great! I clicked with the characters completely, and I found myself switching sides of the battle every once in a while. But, by the end of the book I was just cheering for a HEA.
The road these two men had to travel to get to their HEA was at times sweet and sugary, and at others painful and heartbreaking, but The Wrong Man is a fabulous journey that I am so very pleased to have taken. I hope there will be more books to this series because so far they have both been fantastic.
You can buy The Wrong Man here: