Review: Annabeth Albert – Trust with a Chaser (Rainbow Cove #1)

51otVbiLv4L._SY346_Author: Annabeth Albert
Reviewer: Barb

Publisher: Self-published

Genre: Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Summary:

One hot cop. One bar owner out for redemption. One smoking-hot summer fling destined to leave scorch marks…

Mason Hanks has returned to Rainbow Cove, Oregon with one goal in mind: turn the struggling coastal community into a thriving LGBTQ tourism destination. Step one is transforming an old bar and grill into a gay-friendly eatery. Step two? Don’t piss off Nash Flint, the very hot, very stern chief of police who’s not so sure he’s on board with Mason’s big plans.

Nash Flint just wants to keep his community safe and enjoy the occasional burger in peace. He’s not big on change nor is he a fan of Mason’s troublemaking family, especially his rowdy older brothers. But Mason slowly wins him over with fantastic cooking and the sort of friendship Nash has been starving for.

When their unlikely friendship takes a turn for the sexy, both men try to steer clear of trouble. Nash believes he’s too set in his ways for Mason, and Mason worries that his family’s reputation will ruin any future with Nash. Burning up the sheets in secret is a surefire way to crash and burn, and discovery forces a heart-wrenching decision—is love worth the risk of losing everything?

Trust with a Chaser is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, a hot law-enforcement hero, opposites attract, plenty of sexy times, and one hard-fought, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

Review:

This was a delightful MM romance that lifted my spirits just when they needed a jumpstart. First, a disclaimer: I love stores featuring older MCs, with a special place in my heart for May-December romances. Annabeth Albert delivered on both in this book, and I couldn’t be happier.

The Hanks family has always been worthless to the Flint family, who count among them the current sheriff and his deceased father, who was also sheriff of Rainbow Cove, Oregon. Conversely, the Hanks family hold no respect for those fine, law-abiding Flints—those do-gooder, rigid Flints. So when Mason Hanks comes back to town with a few of his friends and with plans to promote Rainbow Cove as a gay-friendly town, the twenty-seven year old is eyed with suspicion by most of the natives—and especially by Sheriff Nash Flint.

But Mason is not like the other Hanks family members. Much younger than his brothers, Mason is a responsible young man with a good head for business and a culinary school background. He wants what’s best for the town and though he’d like to fix his family, he knows all he can do is be there for his niece, Lilac, whose parents are separated and whose father is constantly dreaming up one scheme or another and generally ending up in trouble.

Deeply closeted, Nash nevertheless falls for Mason against his better judgment, or at least that’s what he thinks at first. When the two decide to have a fling, they both declare that it can stay hidden until it runs it’s course and there’ll be no hard feelings. But of course, the best laid plans go awry and they both fall in love. And then Mason’s brother is arrested and his niece ends up in the hands of the child welfare authorities, so their relationship goes to hell in a handbasket.

What I love most about the work of Annabeth Albert is her characters. Always well-developed, three-dimensional, “real” people, by the time one of her stories ends, I’ve made friends with them. I root for them to have their HEA, but I also root for them to find the strength and courage to fight life’s adversities together. And these men will be able to do that. It’s difficult but rewarding to witness the struggle Nash goes through to come to terms with his own worth and with the fact that he not only desires happiness with Mason, he deserves it. By the time the story ended, I had definitely made new friends and I’m ready to bear witness to their friends getting their own chance at happiness in book two. I can’t wait for that to come out!

I could apply a ton of tags to this one: law enforcement, culinary arts, enemies to lovers, age gap, men over forty, men with children, deep closet, coming out, homophobia, and most of all—favorite couples. It’s pretty obvious, my bottom line is—don’t hesitate to pick this up!

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