Title: Finding Shelter
Series: Rock Bay, Book 3
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: April 29, 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Justin Foster has nineteen years of nothing but trouble behind him. After escaping his abusive father, he finds himself in Rock Bay, Washington, with his cousin Travis. Justin is bruised and has a hard time trusting, but with the help of his family and the small town, he might be able to heal.
Logan O’Brien is also new in town, hoping he can finally get away from his past and the memories of the girlfriend who shattered his heart. It doesn’t take him long to realize Rock Bay can be more than safe harbor: it can also be home. And for the first time in his life, he finds himself captivated by a man—by Justin.
Justin is attracted to Logan too, but he’s also wary. Physically, Logan reminds him a bit too much of the closeted jerks who used to beat him up after school. But after one awkwardly amazing kiss, he’s smitten, despite how his past and insecurities continue to haunt him. Logan’s love, faith, and stubbornness are just what Justin needs to believe their love is worth fighting for.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Good MM romance with a decidedly New Adult flavor but the community was so lovely I enjoyed the book anyway.
The Set Up: Justin has spent nineteen years as his father’s punching bag until he decides to leave for Rock Bay, Washington where his cousin lives. Justin is leery of everyone he meets but none more than Logan, his attractive coworker in the coffee shop. Logan may be getting over a break-up with his long term girlfriend but he can’t deny his incredible desire for Justin nor his need to care for the emotionally injured young man.
Why I Read this Book: I read one of this author’s other book, One Small Thing (my review), and loved it so thought I’d try another of hers.
What I Liked: It’s impossible not to root for the emotionally scarred Justin and the open and loving Logan. They’re both such likable characters that I truly cared and hoped they’d find their HEA with each other. Logan’s gentle seduction of Justin is lovely to read as he builds a friendship with Justin before asking for a sexual one. Justin is very reluctant to have any relationship with Logan but given his past with his father and the bullies and sexual predators at his school this is explicable. Logan and Justin’s sexual relationship has the youthful exuberance readers would expect from a New Adult book and I enjoyed this emotionally laden sexual intimacy.
What I Also Liked: I love romances set in communities and that’s the case here. Rock Bay is a small town but one where the gay men support each other. Justin and Logan work in a coffee shop owned by a couple who become a family for the young men, as well as Justin’s cousin and Logan’s best friend along with their significant others. I like the holiday parties and gentle ribbing of friends that this book contained. I hadn’t read any other books in this series but I enjoyed the setting and secondary characters enough that I may just pick them up.
The plot revolves primarily around Justin and Logan’s romance and I like this. Justin’s father plays a plot role but it’s nothing surprising and offers more character development for Justin than anything else.
What I Didn’t Like: I’m not a New Adult fan. I like my leads old enough to drink and not have to use fake IDs, as in this book. I know Justin had a lot of hard living so he was mature for his age but he was still nineteen and Logan wasn’t out of college himself. I’m not saying this was an absolute negative but not exactly my preference for character ages and development. At least the men were of similar age and maturity so I can’t complain about that.
I have to also mention the romantic tension drove me a bit batty. If these two would have just talked to each other the book could have been half as long and irritated me less. Even after Justin and Logan start building a life, Justin falls back into comfortable thinking patterns that nearly doom his relationship with Logan and frankly that irritated me. Logan couldn’t have been more loving and supportive of Justin and I think this is where the New Adult character of Justin irritated me. The social worker in me says Justin needs a therapist and some heavy duty counseling work to be able to sustain an adult relationship like the one offered in the book.
IMO: This is a good romance that I enjoyed, even if the leads were a little young for my taste and Justin’s abuse-survivor thinking wasn’t dealt with in a way I think was realistic.