Detective Nathan Wolf might just be a junior detective, but he tackles every case with the passion that he lacks in his personal life. A series of failed relationships with women has left him still single at thirty-four—because he's too scared to admit to his longtime crush on his best friend James.
Dr. James Taggert likes to keep his profession as a psychiatrist separate from his party-animal persona. Known around the gay clubs as "Tag", he's the guy who screws them, leaves them, and never looks back. But James's drinking is getting heavier, and when bad memories from the past resurface, he's close to becoming the worst version of himself.
After a drunken blackout ends in a hot and heavy make-out session with his very straight best friend, James has no memory of the steamy affair. But Nathan isn't sorry for the kisses that James can't remember. Nathan finally musters the courage to tell James how he really feels, but a life-altering event might force them apart before they can ever be together.
Book one of the Restoration series
Arthur's fourth Belonging contemporary (after Stand by You) struggles to keep the reader interested in a minimally dramatic romance. Therapist James Taggert's work with molested children amplifies his feelings about his sisters' abuser getting out on parole. Meanwhile, police detective Nate Wolf's hidden homosexuality rises to the surface as he hunts a serial killer who's targeting the rent boys of Wilmington, Del. A half-remembered drunken kiss between Nate and James brings up deep mutual feelings that had been suppressed since their college days. A long hospital stay for Nate, and James's ongoing alcohol issues, form barriers to the relationship but fail to be interesting in their own right. Their friends and family never seem to worry about the potential problems of best friends suddenly falling in love, and police drama with a little jealousy doesn't provide much in the way of emotional intensity and intimacy.
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What a great story!
Dr. James Taggert and Detective Nathan Wolf have been best friends since their college days. James and Nate have a lot in common. They are both hot. They are both single. They both have feelings for one another. They both are in denial.
At the beginning of the book,I was not sure whether I could like the playboy that James is. I nearly doubted the author's ability to make him sincere. Then you read about how he is secretly in love with his best friend, Nathan, and you feel for him almost immediately.
Nate is not sure what is going on. He knows he has feelings for James - and is not sure he can pursue it. He is not sure about himself. He likes women, he likes James, but is he Bi? After one drunken kiss, he realizes that he cannot hide his weakness from himself. Not anymore, since James has figured out what happened and he has to come clean.
James and Nathan both react poorly - afraid it will ruin their friendship. After Nate is hurt on the job, James discovers Nathan won't see him and it already has. Nate is away for a painful four months and James cleans up his playboy act. Discovering it was only a mask for hurt that loving Nate has caused him.
Nate returns wanting to confront James only to feel jealousy at finding another man in his home wearing a sheet. Not sure what to do - they finally talk. It is past the time to tell the truth. They want to stay best friends but when there is a chance at so much more, you have to take it.
With all the ups and downs I felt like theirs was a story that will stand the test of time. The characters are so honest and the story goes along and makes us feel like forever is possible. For a book I was not sure I want to read Now I want to read the rest of the series. This is Book one of the Restoration series. Really good read that I could not put down.
***This ARC copy was given FREE from Netgalley.com for review purposes. My opinion in this honest review does not reflect those of Netgalley nor their affiliates.