Author: K Evan Coles
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publication date: May 28, 2019
Length: 262 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
Sometimes you have to start over to get love right.
Luke Ryan’s life is too chaotic for romance, what with running his business and being the legal guardian to his ten-year-old niece, but he’s hopeful he’ll find the right man.
Trauma surgeon Finn Thomason recently relocated from Chicago to Boston, where his focus on medicine leaves him little space for a personal life. Making a commitment to find a better work-life balance, Finn hopes he’ll also find a relationship.
Caught in an evening rainstorm, Luke shelters under a sidewalk awning…and encounters a handsome stranger. The two strike up a conversation and Finn offers to walk Luke under his oversized umbrella. Charmed, Luke accepts and asks Finn out for coffee in thanks.
Luke and Finn quickly grow close, but, as the summer draws to an end, Luke struggles to keep his connection with Finn while Finn tries to come to terms with caring for a man whose attention is pulled in many directions. Both men are scrambling to get it right, but only time will tell if they’ll learn there is more than enough room in their hearts to go around.
Luke not only co-owns his business with two close friends but also has stepped in to take care of his ten year-old niece while his brother is deployed. To say that life is chaotic and scheduled right down to the nanosecond is not exaggerating at all. When he meets a handsome trauma surgeon, Finn Thomason, the first thing Luke thinks is how attracted he is to the handsome and kind doctor and the second is that any kind of relationship he could hope for with the Finn is doomed to fail. Between his niece and her needs and the fact that most guys Luke dates are not at all interested in kids, there is very little chance that Finn will be any different. But Luke is wrong—Finn is very interested in dating Luke and asks only one thing—to take it slow.
Finn’s schedule isn’t much better than Luke’s and multiple long shifts at the hospital means the two guys must get very creative when it comes to finding time to spend together. It doesn’t help that Luke’s niece seems determined to shut Finn out and that she is Luke’s first priority. What begins as admiration for the responsible nerdy Luke slowly turns into frustration as Finn tries to figure out just how he can possibly fit into Luke’s world.
There was much to like about K. Evan Coles newest release, Three Time’s the Charm. From the sweet meet-cute when Finn offers up a spot under his umbrella to Luke to the way in which these two try their best to communicate with each other and keep on track relationally, the novel is a real study in making the most awkward of circumstances work. I loved that these two guys were mature and communicative and tried their best to tamper expectations when it came to moving from friendship to something more. Finn was incredibly sensitive to Luke’s responsibilities and tried his best to make time for the two of them to have not only quiet moments together but intimate ones as well. But when Luke’s niece heads back to school after the summer off, things go down the drain pretty fast and neither Luke or Finn are happy with the difficulty in scheduling time together or how paltry those few hours are each week.
I fear I may be in the minority when I say that while I liked Finn I felt he was a bit selfish and demanding when it came to having Luke keep his family life separate from their growing attraction for each other. I understood that Finn’s limited backstory suggested that he often gave his former boyfriends way too much of his time—sacrificing his own needs by putting theirs first but still Luke was pretty up front with how much time this pseudo dad/uncle thing with his niece was going to take. I do feel if the author had taken the time to give me more on Finn’s last relationship that had left him so wounded, I would perhaps have a different view of how he handled life with Luke when things got tense.
I also didn’t quite get that Finn could have other friendships where he shared his feelings of frustration about Luke and how little time they had together but when Luke did the same with his best friend, Finn got upset and jealous. It was as if Finn deserved to have his cake and eat it too while Luke had to juggle parenting, work and their relationship mostly on his own—it just felt wrong to me.
However I will say that the chemistry between these two men was palpable and the way in which they really attempted to be honest and keep their relationship real was very, very nice to read. There were some really rich moments in this novel and I feel they saved it from becoming a bit predictable when it came to the almost standard miscommunication gaffe that leads to near disaster that one often finds in many m/m stories today. All in all, Three Time’s the Charm was a sweet romance between two men who were determined to overcome all the odds and make their relationship succeed.
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