Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Dreamspinner Press
Released on November 30, 2015
I confess it was the title that grabbed my attention first, but then the blurb sounded good. Little did I know that this was going to be easily one of my best reading experiences probably for the year and beyond. Loved the blend of grit, humor, sweet, hot, vulnerable, and just so adorable. There was a romance, the making of a family, and some suspense tossed in for good measure.
Deke grew up lean and hard and it made him tough. As an ex-con ex-foster care mom did drugs barely making it mechanic, he’s the last person that should have the care of a little girl, but Zig is his now and he will do right by her. If that means, lemon drops instead of smokes, a sidecar on his Harley, trading fishsticks on Fridays for greenbeans on Thursdays, wearing a tutu to the school to make a point to a bully, and trying harder than he ever has in his life to trust the system, then so be it.
Deke and Zig leave their old life behind and start a new one in Half Moon Bay where they meet clean cut and buttoned up Lang. Lang comes from wealth and never grew up with Deke or Zig’s reality, but has his own troubled past with a cold and dysfunctional family and an ex that nearly carved his heart out. Literally. He lives quietly in his grandmother’s old antebellum family mansion, cares for her cats, and runs his cozy bookstore. His gray boring life explodes with color when a little girl with fuzzy golden hair, black combat boots and a tutu bursts into his bookstore to seduce his cat, and bring a hot and smoldering bad boy uncle in her wake that curls his toes. Lang doesn’t know what to make of this odd pair that wrangle about swearing and negotiate the purchases of books and healthy meals, chores, fighting at school, and nightmares that no child should have. He feels a part of something when he is with them, but danger trails them or does it trail him? So when stuff starts happening, the police are not lacking for motives and suspects. Meanwhile, Deke and Lang decide to take a chance and make what shouldn’t be become something special.
Can’t get over how much I fell in love with these characters and was rooting hard for them to come together. Zig and Deke are an eccentric pair that liven up any scene and it all began when they burst through the doors of Lang’s bookstore and stole the heart he didn’t think he had left to give. And Lang, he fell in love with a pair of misfits and became one of them. They all blended so well together.
The romance is quick, but I didn’t mind because it was sprinkled with action scenes and daily life. These guys just clicked and I could buy that they fell in love on first sight. They had to negotiate their pasts and reconcile their differences. Deke is proud and independent so he isn’t sure about being with a wealthy guy who grew up on the straight and narrow just like Lang worries that his fears and hesitancy and weakness from his past make him poor relationship material. They are slightly envious of each other’s backgrounds. Deke wonders what it would be like never to hurt for money or to grow up without the fear that comes from living in a rough neighborhood and Lang sees the way Deke warmly protects and loves Zig and wishes he had that since his family is cold and he grew up lonely.
Zig is a huge part of the story. She is a main character as much as Deke or Lang even though she doesn’t narrate. The lost little girl who had a terrible life until her Uncle Deke came along is older than her years in ways, but still so very much a little girl who is scared of the dark and wants a friend to play with her. Watching Deke and Zig figure out being a family like normal people and then bring Lang into their family was too sweet for words.
[quote]”And promise that once I give you this cup, it’ll stay that way?” Lang held the brimming mug up for her to see. “I also know you don’t have any money so you’re going to have to work off that f-word. Maybe emptying the trash can at the counter.”
“No take backs. Uncle Deke says only assholes do take backs.” Zig kicked at the leg of her chair. “Rule one of life is ‘don’t be an asshole’.”
“Really?” he debated the topic, wondering how it would fit into his siblings’ child-rearing techniques…”Does Deacon agree with this philosophy?”
“Who do you think told it to me?” She snorted, then sniffed at the cup he gave her. “He says it pretty much covers everything. I don’t really need a rule two if I follow rule one.”
Loc 1739 Zig and Lang of Fish Stick Fridays[/quote]
[quote]”Zig’s fine. It’s all fine.”
His eyes burned, and Lang blinked, not surprised at the tears on his lashes. Deacon swiped at his cheek, his thumb scraping a rough path on Lang’s face.
“Funny thing is…I’m just like Zig. I just…you’re the first one who’s just been there for me. I didn’t realize it until now. Everything you give her, you give me.”
He cupped Deacon’s strong face, achingly beautiful features he’d grown used to waking up next to. Lang wanted to breathe Deacon in, hold every bit of him inside for the times when he felt foolish or weak. He knew they were in trouble. The run to a seedy motel with questionable bedding was proof of that, but despite the tight grip of uncertainty in his belly, Lang felt safe, loved.
Loc 3084 Lang and Deke in Fish Stick Fridays[/quote]
And bonus, Lang’s cozy bookstore with the fireplace, the stuffed chairs, the marmalade cat, the cocoa, and they all share a love of books and talk about them. Deke has wall to wall shelves and Lang has a two story library full. Heaven, people!
All in all, this was delightful and heartwarming, funny and intense, and I didn’t want the story to end. This is for those who enjoy this brand of m/m contemporary romance or light suspense. I will definitely be checking out more from this author.
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