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Nightmares and panic attacks following a horrific tragedy leave Professor Elliot Lawrence a prisoner in his own home. After months of relying on his sister as his only connection to the outside world, Elliot is desperate for a sliver of independence. But leaving the safety of his home isn’t an option, not yet, and he reaches out in the most innocuous way he can think of: grocery delivery.
Colton Kelly, retired porn star and recent college grad, is struggling at two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. During one of his grocery deliveries, he meets Elliot. Although the attraction between them is instant, they must first traverse the long road of putting Elliot back together. When disaster strikes yet again, this time in Colt’s life, Elliot’s not sure he’s strong enough to be the man Colt needs him to be.
Colt delivers groceries while trying to get a job teaching and hoping to stay out of porn for good. (We met him in Keeping Sweets – the super nice guy who helped Evan while Bran was “thinking”.)
Elliot witnessed a student suicide in his classroom and now can’t function normally due to crippling anxiety. When Colt delivers his groceries one day there is an instant attraction that blossoms into romance.
First – I loved Keeping Sweets. I was psyched for Colt’s story, he always seemed like such a nice guy!
Second – I love porn/ex porn stories because you usually get hot sex and someone who is really looking to find something more meaningful in their life.
Third – I love books about shy/anxious/nerdy types who need that out-going person to help them break from their shell, finding all the lovely hidden layers.
I was so disappointed by this book. Colt’s career is almost a non-issue and though there are a couple of references to his friends and a “maybe I’ll have to go back because I’m broke” moment – it really doesn’t factor into things. I was worried Elliot would be prudish about Colt being such a public figure, but they barely even discuss the issue and it just goes away.
Colt’s career as a high school teacher seems particularly far-fetched for a former porn star. Sure – it could happen – maybe??? But it would have to be a HUGE stumbling block for him – not just his inexperience. The ex-career more than the inexperience would have made for a far more believable plot device.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Elliot’s anxiety/illness/PTSD situation. I had a really big issue with his therapist and that plot point as well as his entire recovery. I’m not sure his responses seemed at all consistent – letting a stranger into his house and immediately befriending him while being unable to step outside then going from that to jumping on a plane… it seemed a bit inconceivable.
I generally like Cate Ashwood’s work so this was a bit of a letdown. I loved the premise on so many levels and I don’t think any of them played well. I also wish we’d seen more from the guys from Sweets and that the career had either been dealt with more or more realistically.
The writing was good and Elliot was sweet and Colt as kind as ever, but I can’t say the story was very good.
2.75 of 5 hearts