Book: The Shore Thing
States Of Love
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Publication date: August 23, 2017
Length: 104 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Sunburned Delaware native Dale Seward spends his summers wrangling lifeguards and cracking crabs. His winters are a whole lot colder.
Nico Travelli’s never even seen the ocean, but when his family’s plans for him get derailed, he realizes his future in their upscale Italian restaurants might be over, and it’s time for something new. He’s hypnotized by his first look at the Atlantic—until a wave takes him out. Luckily, Dale’s there to pull him to safety.
Dale knows better than to fall for a summer person, but that doesn’t mean he can’t show Nico a good time. Between the ice cream cones and the put-put golf, these two lonely hearts soon find themselves in over their heads.
But when Nico is tempted by a second chance at the life he always thought he wanted, will he be brave enough to give it up for the possibility of true love with Dale? And what does the sexy lifeguard do during the winter? In a state as small as Delaware, secrets are bound to come out.
Age gap, a beach, some good seafood, and a cute ocean side town and you've got The Shore Thing by AR Barley, the newest edition to Dreamspinner Press's States of Love series. This one takes us to Delaware where Dale is a lifeguard and lifelong resident. He spends his days in charge of the younger lifeguards and watching the beach. When Nico Travelli is swept out to sea in what or may or may not have been on purpose, Dale's skills kick into high gear and he pulls a bedraggled Nico to shore. Where he is immediately knocked off kilter by the stunning, sopping wet guy at his feet.
Once Dale is convinced Nico is going to be okay, Dale brings Nico home with him to recover and Nico ... well he decides staying at Dale's for the foreseeable future sounds like a mighty fine thing indeed. Nico is young and running from his family, one he's sure won't want him when they find out he's gay, so when Dale doesn't immediately ask Nico to hit the road and offers him a place to stay for a bit while he gets his bearings, Nico can't say no. Especially when the pull of the ocean, the smell of salt in the air, and most importantly Dale himself gives him every reason to stay. Dale is wary of summer folk though, and his disdain for them is well-known, so he tries (TRY being the operative word here people) to keep his distance, but of course this proves to be impossible.
The Shore Thing was a really sweet, charming, no angst book that had me smiling from beginning to end. Nico is endearing and Dale, the big, buff, slightly jaded life guard was awesome. I loved these two together. There's some steam, not a lot and it fits perfectly with the vibe and length of the story, and their chemistry is really believable. I enjoyed the setting, the characters, the sense of the beach, the food, and everything else. This is a great, light read that is, well, perfect for the beach, so be sure to check it out.
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