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Cover Design: Natasha Snow
Book #1 – After Ben – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
The Official Description: A Seattle Stories novel
No more running from love…
Nearly a year after being rejected for another man, Seattle paramedic Peter Morse is still pining, so when the one that got away asks him for a favor, he agrees. His mission: track down Sean Reid, the runaway brother of a mutual friend. Peter isn’t thrilled about it—until he finds Sean injured by the side of the road.
Everything about Sean stirs Peter’s protective instincts—saving people is what he lives for—but he never anticipated falling for someone so hell-bent on running from him. On top of his physical wounds, Sean struggles with grief and guilt, and the mess his estranged father left when he died threatens to overwhelm him.
Saving Sean means Peter must let go of his pride and turn to friends and family. Asking for help is a bitter pill for Peter to swallow, but if he can’t, how can he expect Sean to accept his help—and his love—in turn?
Just the facts: Contemporary gay romance, a character with mental health issues, a puzzle to unravel
This was a heart-achey romance. Two men are lost when they find one another… just in different ways.- Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit:
This book opens with characters from the first book in Con Riley’s “Seattle Stories” series. I love it when I read familiar names… it’s like returning home when the story was good! After Ben, the first book in the series was a lovely story with a little bit of a mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
When Saving Sean beings, Theo is asking his friend Peter to do him a favor. The thing is … as much as he might not want to do the favor, Peter already knows he’s going to do it. He had feelings for Theo in the first book. He’s moved on, but he has a soft spot in his heart for Theo. The next thing Peter knows, he’s driving out in search of Theo’s friend’s brother. He comes upon Sean quickly… by accident… after an accident. The paramedic side of Peter kicks in… the caretaker in him. Soon, he’s in too deep with Sean and is risking everything to help him.
Sean is a conservationist. He’s political, probably some kind of genius and still dealing with the shock of his father’s death. It turns out that he’s come home to his father’s cabin only to find it full of papers, boxes, information… and he can’t make sense of it. Sean isn’t just grieving his father, he’s also beating himself up because he can’t find any meaning in the piles and piles of papers and all of his father’s research.
There’s an ongoing theme in this book of characters dealing with mental illness. It’s clear early on that Sean’s father lived with OCD. Ultimately, the man’s challenges tore the family apart. Sean is estranged from his sister because he fled the chaos that was their family home. Riley does a really good job of showing how mental health issues can affect everyone in a family. As Sean and Peter begin to get to know each other it becomes clear that some of what makes Sean so great at being a researcher and conservationist is that he has some of his father’s tendencies towards being obsessive. I really appreciated how Sean was a complex character and mental illness was represented as being something that could be an advantage as well as a challenge.
Peter is certainly on his own journey in this book. As he learns more and more about Sean and his father, he begins to understand more about his relationship with his own father. Even the supporting characters in this story seemed to be on their own journey. I like that all of the characters seem important.
There were times when I got a little taken out of the plot by the fact that almost everyone is gay. But, that’s what we’re here to read, right? So, it’s not really that big an issue.
This series is a great set of contemporary gay romances. These books are well-written, enjoyable and the characters read as authentic.
The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) character is hit by a car, child emotional abuse, homophobia, bullying, injuries, depictions of mental health issues, mentions the death of a parent in the past.
Readalikes: Other similar reads you might like:
- After Ben (Seattle Stories #1) by Con Riley
- Where Love Grows by Jay Northcote
- Bishop: A True Lover’s Story by A.E. Via
CON RILEY lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean. Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time instead. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that make them live and breathe. When not people-watching or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her—she’s probably thinking up new plots.
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I received an ARC of Saving Sean by Con Riley via Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review.