Author: K.M. Neuhold
Publication Date: February 7, 2020
Length: 316 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
Ren is in desperate need of a rebound fling. Lucky for him, the smoking hot contractor he hired has just the tool for the job.
The last thing I want is another relationship or another broken heart.
All I need are my bees and the occasional hookup to scratch the itch.
Okay, maybe meeting up with my hot contractor weekly is a little more than occasional. And maybe the way I’m starting to feel about the guy I’ve been anonymously chatting with online should concern me.
But CaulkyAF doesn’t want to meet, and Cole doesn’t want anything serious, so what’s the worst that could happen?
**** Caulky is book 1 in the Four Bears Construction Series and can be read as a stand-alone. This is a funny, steamy MM story guaranteed to make you laugh and swoon. Absolutely NO cheating and NO love triangle. This series does NOT contain shifters, it's the OTHER kind of bears.
Ren can’t believe his boyfriend—the one he nearly proposed to—left his mover’s receipt on the kitchen table. This is how he finds out the guy is dumping him? Just up and leaving after Ren has tried for years to please the guy and tried everything he could think of to keep them together? That’s it for the beekeeper/technical writer—he is through with love. From now on it’s mindless hookups and the single life for Ren. His friend Daniel agrees and drags him to the local gay bar to tie one on and forget. Then Ren spots the gorgeous bear at Wooley’s and despite being pretty drunk makes a beeline for the guy. The man lights up lots of bells and whistles for Ren and he is definitely down to play with the guy—if only he weren’t so drunk. Turns out the man is the real gentleman and instead of takin g advantage of Ren’s inebriated state give him just one scorching kiss and sends Ren back to Daniel. Ren will spend the next six months thinking about the guy who got away.
Cole doesn’t do love—especially not after watching his brother marry and divorce like he’s putting on a new pair of socks. No, he’ll let wearing on his heart on his sleeve to his bro, thank you very much. That doesn’t keep him from manning his stool at Wooley’s bar every Thursday night like clockwork to pick up the next hot man that sparks his interest—he may be love-phobic but he’s not dead—not by any means. When the lithe, tattooed and very drunk man hits on him, Cole is more than tempted, but he is also a gentleman. After a quick kiss and a reminder that the man can look him up back at the bar any Thursday night, Cole sends the guy on his way back to his friend. The problem is the following week Cole finds himself doing something he’s never done before—looking for that guy—the one whose kiss lit some sort of flame in his belly, which scared the life out of Cole.
I want to start this review of Caulky by K.M. Neuhold by saying that I really loved the premise of this book and the way in which this quirky relationship evolved. Both Ren and Cole have been burnt in the past and both have good reasons for not trusting that the next one will stay and not break their hearts so mindless hookups is the way to go, for sure. When the author adds the element that both guys are actually also using the same dating app and have met online without knowing it I was very intrigued and all in to enjoy this story as it unfolded. Honestly up to the fifty percent mark of this book I have no complaints and many, I think, may not see anything wrong with the latter half of this book focusing more on steamy sexual moments between Ren and Cole than much of anything else. It was suddenly as if the author made the choice that the relationship growth between the two guys was secondary to the frequent sex they were having. I found myself skimming those lengthy passages to get to the meat of the story and see how Ren would come to terms with a Cole who had finally discovered that he was in love and wanted that love to succeed.
I will admit that Cole’s character does a complete one eighty when it comes to embracing a relationship that in the past was something he would scoff at and run from in a hurry. Still it was fun to watch him finally get on board with the idea he could be in love. Ren was consistent in doubting that Cole would be there for the long haul—after all the poor guy had been burned a few times before when he thought he was in a lasting relationship, so his constant worrying that Cole would get bored and dump him was well-founded. It was really nice to watch all their ‘falling in love’ moments unfold. Unfortunately every time I thought we were going to see the guys decide that they could trust their instincts and their love was stable and lasting, the author chose to stop the train and throw in another several pages of sex. This was so frustrating for me—I felt that both characters stopped growing and the storyline went stagnant. At one point I thought this novel could have ended much sooner than it did if the author had shaved off the endless sex scenes that, for me, got repetitive and boring after a while.
I’m pretty sure that many others will feel differently but I love a meaty plot—one that was reflected in the first half of this novel when focusing on building the story was the real intent. However, I liked these guys and the secondary characters, Cole’s other partners in their construction business, so much that I will admit I am going to look for the next novel in this series to drop and grab it up to read when it does.
Caulky was entertaining and a sweet hurt/comfort love story that boasted many fun characters and a clever story line. While I may not have appreciated the glut of sex that I felt stalled the advancement of the plot, I still think this one is worth checking out.
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