Reviewed for Hearts On Fire Reviews
First and foremost – Lonnie is a dirtbag. Let’s get that out there right away. He starts off as a low class cheating scum, and ends up a psycho dirtbag. How Vince, who is lovely, ended up with him and stayed with him is a mystery. But we are lucky he caught Lonnie cheating, since it prompted his move next door to Carl.
Carl is a detective, and he has a bitch of an ex-wife, Rhonda, with whom he shares custody of his children. Again, you wonder why he stayed with her as long as he did, especially considering she is also a huge cheater and “skank of the department”. She tried to sleep with his friends, for heaven’s sake. They are divorced now, and she just uses the children’s schedule to make Carl’s life miserable.
When Vince’s moving help bails on him, he enlists Carl’s help, and is pleased (and a bit surprised) when the fact that he’s gay makes no difference. Two begin a friendship based on bad exes and Friday BBQ. Vince gets along well with Carl’s kids and keeps him company when the kids aren’t there. Jake, Carl’s 15-year-old son, makes a point of telling Carl it wouldn’t matter if Carl is with a man or a woman. Smart kid.
When “the kiss” happens, I have to admit I was a bit shocked, because as a straight man who has never thought of being with a guy, a tongue kiss in front of a stranger, on the front porch, seemed a little much. I could completely understand Carl acting like Vince’s boyfriend in front of Lonnie, but the kiss was a bit over the top for me. What it did accomplish was to show Vince just what a great kisser Carl is. It makes the Friday night BBQ even tougher for Vince.
The characters here are wonderful. I especially love Vince’s best friend, Trace (and am hoping we get to read his story, he’s adorable). Rhonda is a bitch, but she is (unfortunately) a believable bitch, one who you could meet any day. Jake is also well drawn and believable.
There is a point when a friend of Carl’s comes over, knows that Vince and Carl are together, and Carl doesn’t act proud of who he’s with. Instead, he acts as if Vince is nothing more than another buddy and is visibly tense and uncomfortable the whole time. Vince, oh you want him happy and being forced into the closet isn’t it. I felt so bad for him, being a dirty little secret even in front of someone who doesn’t care it’s two men together. Carl, get your act together. It takes his son and a psycho to show him how things should be, providing he isn’t too late.
This is a great beginning to a new series (hello, Trace???) and I’m interested in reading the next one. Recommended (especially if you like hot firemen!)