Rating: 4/5 stars
Length: 282 pages
Series: Signs of Love, Book 5
Genres: Romance, Male/Male Romance, Contemporary, LGBT+
Publication date: February 17, 2020
Panicked, Reid grabbed two fistfuls of Sullivan’s opened coat and yanked the man against him. He buried his head against the crook of Sullivan’s neck and hid inside a tight hug. Sullivan’s surprised breath fizzled through Reid’s hair and down his nape.
“Tell me when they’re gone.” Reid’s soft words bounced against Sullivan’s clavicle, returning to him dewy and tasting of Sullivan’s fresh salty scent.
Sullivan curved an arm around him and pressed his lips against Reid’s head, holding there. Passersby must think they were sharing an emotional moment. Good improvising, Sullivan!
Dumped once again by a girl who he thought he’d spend forever with, Reid is alone and in need of a home. Desperate, e becomes the live in nanny aboard the houseboat/yacht, the Aquarian. The job? While advertised to look after thirteen year old Joanna, it’s really the young mastermind’s plan to have Reid befriend her father, urge him to become more active in her life, encourage him to date, and become his closest confidant so he can extract her father’s bottled up emotions. No pressure.
I really enjoyed the relationships that were formed in this novel. They made the story for me and I couldn’t help but root for Joanna. Sunday did another fantastic job at making this romance feel real. I can’t wait for more in this series, to find out how others will fall in love and in what ways they’re all connected to each other.
In a series of misunderstandings, Reid finds out that being a nanny aboard the Aquarius isn’t as terrifying as he initially thought. You’re bound to get you sea legs when you’re living on a boat… right? When your “charge” ends up being an incredibly sweet and sassy child, it’s got to make the gig even sweeter.
As usual, I adored the way that Sunday fit in the connections with the rest of the series. Always done in a way so as to make the books stand on their own should you choose to not start at the beginning, I had fun picking out all of the the Easter egg connections. Yes, they weren’t deeply hidden in sub-context, but you’ve still got to know the rest of the series to catch them.
Reid was certainly a bobble head at times, but to me that only increased his charge. An extremely oblivious character, he’s certainly got his work cut out for him in order to help Joanna bring her father out of his funk. Life hasn’t been easy for Sullivan the last couple of years, but Joanna is determined to help her father find joy in his life again.
I’ve been absolutely adoring this series. If you’re looking for a good male/male romance read, I’d highly recommend checking this series out. While not everyone’s cup of tea, they’re written beautifully. As a straight woman I can’t personally relate to everything that happens in these books but the love in these pages is easy to see. If a clueless romantic is your kind of a good read, check out Reid’s tale.
Sullivan huffed a laugh. “I’m very, very straight. And you’re unintentionally flirting. This can work. We can be on the straight and narrow together.”
I can’t believe that Reid honestly believed that Sullivan’s reactions to him meant that he didn’t like gay people. Sure there are people like this in the world, but Sullivan doesn’t try to hide his reaction to Reid. Okay, so he tries to hide his reaction and his attraction, but he’s not very good at it. It’s clear from the very beginning that Sullivan is attracted to Reid, and it’s clear when that attraction goes from purely physical to something more.
That must have been terrifying for Sullivan after losing Riley. I can’t imagine how hard it is to lose the love of your life, how that might make you worry about losing anyone ever again. It certainly closed Sullivan off to possibilities, to having a happy future. That is until Joanna got Reid to help her in her mission to guide her father to happiness again.
Even still, Sullivan doesn’t do anything to make Reid think that he’s straight. Yes, he continues the ruse after Reid tells him that he thinks he’s straight but it’s just a part of his coping mechanism. It’s easier to be around someone you find attractive if you can pretend you’re not attracted to them. I’m sure it helped alleviate some of the guilt he was feeling over wanting to spend time with Reid by maintaining the facade that it was never going to happen. Sure he wasn’t really fooling himself in his intentions, but he was able to convince Reid which I’m certain helped.
Even when things began happening between the two of them Reid didn’t see it going anywhere long term. Sure he was falling for Sullivan, but he was still convinced that Riley was his dead wife. It took Joanna talking about her dad for Reid to realize how dumb he’d been about things. (I do feel bad about Joanna feeling like a bad daughter for not talking about her dad more often, though. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about people you’ve lost but that doesn’t negate the love you feel for them.)
While only a secondary character, Joanna is probably my favourite person in this novel. Smart as a whip and incredibly caring, Joanna brought some levity to this tale. Her whole mission was to get her father to realize that life goes on even after loss and the fact that her birthday wish was for Sullivan and Reid to admit they were together continues to show how sweet and caring she really is. Sure she can get into trouble with the best of them – and Reid certainly helped by getting her drunk – but everyone causes a little bit of mischief in their lives. Most of her mischief comes from a good place which just endeared her to me even more.
I also enjoyed watching her own relationship blossom. Sure Sullivan didn’t want to think about Joanna growing up and dating – who’s going to be good enough for your little girl? – but Joanna is wise beyond her years. Her whole mission in life (at the time) was to help her father find happiness, you can’t fault her for finding a little bit of her own along the way.
Speaking of secondary characters, I can’t help but wonder if Mason is going to star in the next novel. I feel bad that he was so obviously interested in Reid and thought that Reid was finally returning his feelings… only to find out that Reid was actually asking him to help him get to Sullivan. That had to be a serious blow to his ego. It’d be great if he got his own tale of falling in love and finding the person to spend the rest of his life with.
That being said, no matter what comes next I can’t wait to read it. I adore watching these men fall in love and start their lives together. Sure they’ve all dealt with heaviness in their lives, but the greatest success comes on the tail end of adversary. That’s no truer than how all of these men – Reid and Sullivan, but also the other men in this series – have found love.
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