Just Like That

Carina: Harlequin. (Albin Academy, Bk. 1). Jul. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781335146458. pap. $14.99. LGBTQ+ cONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Summer Hemlock is returning to his old boarding school, a place he never felt like he belonged. He’ll be the teaching assistant to Fox Iseya, a teacher Summer had a crush on as a boy. Summer suffers from anxiety, but around Fox he feels braver than he ever could imagine. Fox’s wife died 20 years earlier, and he’s struck with guilt over not being there when she needed him most. Since then, he has done everything possible to cut off all feelings of happiness. Fox challenges Summer to have one moment of courage every day, promising Summer a kiss in return for each act. Through these tests, Summer finds his purpose outside of teaching. However, Fox is also challenged when Summer starts pushing Fox’s boundaries, and Fox is not so quick to leave past hurts behind.
VERDICT This first in a new series from McCade (“Undue Arrogance” series) is wonderfully descriptive, filled with angst and great introspection from both characters. Fans of the author and second-chance love stories will be enthralled.
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