Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 12/30/2008
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
Cooper has spent the last three years running from a painful past. He’s currently moving from town to town, working in restaurant kitchens, and playing his violin for tips. As soon as he starts to feel comfortable anywhere–with anyone–he moves on. He’s aware that music may be the only human language he still knows. Ironically, the one man he’s wanted to communicate with in all that time is deaf.
Shawn is part of a deaf theater group at the nearby college. Shawn wants Cooper as soon as they meet and he begins a determined flirtation. Cooper is comfortable with down and dirty sex, just not people. As far as Shawn is concerned, dirty sex is win-win, but he wants Cooper to let him into the rest of his life as well.
Cooper needs time to heal and put his past away for good. Shawn needs to help Cooper forgive himself and accept that he can be loved. Both men find out that when it comes to the kind of healing love can bring, the sleepy beachside town of Santo Ignacio, “St. Nacho’s” as the locals call it, may just be the very best place to start.
Z.A. Maxfield became one of my go-to authors for well-written, believable romance stories after I read St. Nacho’s- I can’t believe that was five years ago. This is the first book in the St Nacho’s series and we meet Cooper Wyatt, a mysterious, pierced and tattooed biker who pulls into the tiny California coastal town of Santo Ignacio. He’s just passing through, as he has been anywhere he stops for the past several years. He’s a now drifter, a loner, but has his own dark secrets. He also carries a violin…
In St Ignacio, Cooper meets Shawn, a deaf waiter at St Nacho’s Bar – the irony of being attracted to a deaf man when music is Cooper’s only love, is only one of the emotional surprises awaiting him in this magical place.
The idea of a slightly ‘out of this world’ town that changes one’s life is appealing, and Maxfield manages to depict Santo Ignacio as one of those places without resorting to fantasy or mysticism. Cooper finds people in this small town who are willing to take him as he is; to love him as he is, and ask for the same in return. Sometimes this is all a transformation requires.
Z.A. Maxfield gives us characters filled with humanity, even the secondary characters who provide the background for Cooper are vivid, if flickering images. This author only gives us the minimum we need to understand these characters and the role they play in Cooper’s re-awakening. I wish the reader could have gone a little more deeply into the character of Shawn Fielding, who plays a critical role in the book, but I like the twist we get, where he is concerned.
There is a lovely counterpoint created by the other small town in Cooper’s life, Great Falls, where he grew up. As Cooper’s re-emerges from the shadows of his past, Jordan Jensen, whose depiction is only slightly less fleshed out than Cooper’s, seems to be there to pull him back. To understand Cooper you need to understand Jordan too, and that becomes vital in the final act in this gentle drama.
I wish the character of Cooper could have been a little more gritty and Shawn, as I mention, a little more substantial, but this is the beginning of a wonderful comfort read of a series. If anything the series matures and gets better as it progresses, and I recommend St Nacho’s, Physical Therapy, Jacob’s Ladder and The Book of Daniel.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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