Summary: The town of Heartsville means something different to everyone who lives there. For Aaron Forester, it’s a gay-friendly buffer between himself and the rest of the world. After being outed in high school and bullied to the point of violence, his family uprooted their lives and relocated to the small hamlet. He’s moved on from all that and now owns a popular café in the bustling shopping district. But after twenty years of happy living, Aaron’s past creeps up on him in the most unexpected way.
Brad Collins only has one regret and he’s carried it with him since he was a teenager. When he moves to Heartsville and gets set up on a blind date with the most adorable, engaging man he’s met in a long time, he couldn’t be happier. But Brad didn’t expect the guy to be the person he outed in high school—whom he’s now falling in love with.
Review: Aaron Forester is the owner of Market Street Café in Heartsville. His family didn’t always live here. They had to move after Aaron was viciously outed in high school, hundreds of pictures of he and his boyfriend kissing being planted all over. His high school life became a torrent of bullying and worry that he’d end up in the hospital or dead prompted the move. But he’s happy now in Heartsville, if a little lonely. He runs the coffee house with loyal if a little lackadaisical employees and that’s it. His sister, a force unto herself, decides it is time Aaron got out there and dated someone. A blind date someone, to be exact.
This is how Aaron meets Brad, a lovely man who clicks with Aaron right away. They have dinner, share conversation, laughs and after a bit, some amazing sex. Until Aaron wakes up the next day and Brad is conspicuously absent without a word. And that continues for days, to Aaron’s hurt. He doesn’t know what happened and of course Brad isn’t answering. In a funny turn of events, after hearing how Aaron had been treated by his date, good friend Justin wants to set him up with a blind date with, an “absolute dream”, and of course it turns out to be Brad. Aaron can’t win.
When cowardly Brad finally owns up the reason, I was pretty over him. I couldn’t understand if he felt guilty why he would put Aaron through more by his silence. I just didn’t buy his apology and I did think Aaron caved way too easily. This was a life altering event, after all.
This is a story where I enjoyed the writing very much, I just wish I had connected with Brad’s character more.