REVIEWED by Jen B.
SERIES: Dublin Virtues #3
AUTHOR: Helena Stone
PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing
LENGTH: 183 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 20, 2017
BLURB: When everything changes, can renewal bring redemption?
Shane Boyle left Dublin for America burning most of his bridges and with no intention of returning, certain his future lay in Florida. When a family crisis forces him back to the city he grew up in, he knows his life will never be the same again. With his sister close to death, his mother and five-year-old nephew Danny need him not just to be around but also to be the rock they can depend on. Torn between panic about his new responsibilities and despair at his impending loss, love and a relationship are the last thing on his mind.
Chris Anderson left Australia for Dublin ten years ago with no intention of ever going back. For reasons he can’t explain, even to himself, he hasn’t been in a relationship for almost as long as he’s been in Ireland. Now thirty-five-years old, he wonders what happened to his dream of a lasting bond and a family to call his own.
When Shane and Chris hook up one night in a pub, neither knows that the next day they’ll meet again, this time as colleagues in a tattoo parlour. Chris has no idea about Shane’s dodgy past, and Shane can’t figure out the mountain of a man who refuses to take no for an answer. Having to reinvent his whole life is only the start of Shane’s process of renewal. Will Chris turn out to be his saviour or his downfall?
Shane is the bad guy from book 1, the guy who left Troy high and dry when he up and took off to Florida leaving Troy to struggle with opening their tattoo shop. He also tried to come between Troy and Xander in the beginning of their relationship. So, needless to say, he has not been a good egg from the start and he had a lot of making up to do this time around.
Chris is one of Troy’s employees who happens to meet and hook up with Shane one night, only to run into him again when he helps out another tattoo shop. They hit it off, but Shane wouldn’t so much as exchange numbers, so Chris was left trying to interpret mixed signals, which pretty much carried on for a good portion of the story.
Despite the warnings from both Shane and Troy/Xander, Chris saw something in Shane. The man in the story didn’t appear to be the same man Chris had just met, so he decided to make his own opinions. Turns out there is more to Shane than he lets on, though not more to the story of his past actions. Shane has returned to Ireland to take care of his dying sister’s son, something which has forced him to be a different person than the self-serving bastard that he was.
The story about the death of Shane’s sister was sad, but it turned a bit sweeter when Shane came around and owned up to what he had done, apologized and was able to move on. While it did seem as though there should have been more of a blow up with Troy/Xander and Shane, they did eventually confront the elephant in the room and agreed to a truce.
This was a smooth reading story that, even given the circumstances, felt light on the angst scale. My biggest issue here was that I never really felt the connection between Chris and Shane. Chris wanted a family, and Shane needed help and support, so it seemed like a natural relationship, but I never felt like they were truly in love. Either way, it was a nice addition to the series. If I had read this one first, I may have felt differently without knowing Shane’s past, but I still believe these are best read in order.