Author: Ada Maria Soto
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/26/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Gay, M/M Romance, Romance
Sequel to Empty Nests
Nested Hearts: Book Two
Two very different men have a chance at happiness, but only if they can let go of their painful pasts and allow love to take precedence.
After spending his teens and twenties raising his son, James Maron is now dating Gabriel Juarez, the wealthy and sophisticated CFO of the TechPrim technology empire. But after a life of proudly holding his head above the poverty line with the ethos of work, priorities, responsibility, and thrift, he is not looking for a Sugar Daddy, he does not need to be rescued, and Gabe’s wealth is as terrifying as feeling love for the first time.
Gabe has never been good at balancing his high-pressure job with his relationships. Money usually clears most of the bumps, and when a boyfriend walks away, Gabe figures it’s for a good reason. But James isn’t like other boyfriends. He doesn’t want Gabe’s money for one, and if Gabe wants to keep his relationship together, he will have to finally face the ghosts of his own past and reconsider his priorities.
This is the second book in the Nested Hearts Series, sequel to Empty Nests, and I’d strongly advise against reading Bowerbirds as a standalone—because it’s rather less of a sequel but the missing half of the first book. In fact, even though this book feels decidedly less open-ended than the first, I’m not sure if the overall story is supposed to be finished.
Bowerbirds, for those who’d have to look it up (as I had to)—bowerbirds are an avian species where the male builds elaborate structures from twigs, grass and leaves which he then adorns with all kinds of stuff—bottle caps, plastic shards, pieces of glass, scraps of paper, flowers (mostly in blue, btw)—in order to attract a mate. In book one, Gabe’s ornithologist ex-boyfriend likens him to a bowerbird for his beautifully decorated apartment that lacks nothing except a significant other. An oddly appropriate metaphor, since Gabe would love for James to leave his much-too-small apartment and move in with him. For that matter, Gabe would love to spoil James rotten—he’s filthy rich, after all, and since his demanding job doesn’t leave him much time to actually spend with James, why not show his appreciation otherwise?
But James refuses. Used to take care of himself AND his kid from age fifteen, James doesn’t want to get used to let someone else buy him and Dylan things. Because James thinks this can’t last. Because James can’t believe Gabe thinks him more important than his job. Because James can see how dedicated Gabe is and he doesn’t want to stand in his way.
Because James got a major case of cold feet. Which, while fitting his characterization, irked me to no end because I found the resulting inevitable breakup-so-they-can-reunite rather contrived. But that might be only me.
As I said, while reading Empty Nests, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Well, in here it did. Kind of.
The overall tone of this book was less light-hearted, less humorous than the first, focusing more on Gabe and James’s slowly building relationship than on their characters. The pacing was even slower than in the first part; while I wouldn’t exactly say it dragged, your mileage might vary on that.
Despite the more satisfying ending, I liked this book a tad less than the first. Which doesn’t mean I hated it, of course, far from it. For one, the writing was equally light-handed, smooth and pleasant, and for another, I found a new favorite side character to fawn over—Tamyra. Seriously, that woman needs her own book.
Should there ever be a third “Nested Hearts” book, I’ll most definitely gobble it up as soon as I can get my greedy little hands on it. Despite my nagging about the second book, this series is one of the best I’ve read this year. If I were to describe these two books with one word, I’d call them “relaxing”. They’re perfect holiday reads.
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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