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Sand & Water

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Widower John McConnell gets along fine raising his daughter on Georgia's Tybee Island, though he wouldn't exactly say he's happy. Haunted by the memory of his dead wife, John hasn't considered dating again until he meets Bryan Simmons in the park. It isn't long before John realizes that what he feels for Bryan could be something real, but how will he know he's ready to mov ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published August 15th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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R * A Reader Obsessed *
3.5 to 4 Stars???

I'll be the first to admit that going into this, I was feeling "meh" about it. I simply expected a nice, average, simple story about a widower who meets someone who helps him with his grief, and everyone lives happily ever after.

What I got instead was a pretty poignant tale that centered on two people with terrible, heart breaking pasts and their efforts to find some well deserved happiness. This could've been trite, it could've moved too fast, it could've glossed over the ugly
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I like Shae Connor's stories and this is her first novel-length title. When I see the word "daughter", I can't help to immediately jump on it. What can I say, I love single dads with kids. In this one, there is not only one kid but TWO. John's daughter, Beth, and Bryan's nephew, Jeremy. I'm a goner :)

Some technical information first: the story is written in 3rd person, but John is the main narrator (no alternate point of view). John is a bisexual. He was married to a woman for seven years before
Vicktor Alexander
Aug 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Katharina, Kate B, Luci, Thorny, Matt, Brad, M/M Romance Group
This is a M/M family story that really focuses more on family and healing from past hurts and disappointments than the romance aspect.

First we meet John, single father of Beth, who lost his wife five years before this book begins. John works from home so he can raise "Bethy" with the assistance of his young aunt Meghan. Beth is probably one of the cutest little girls that I've ever read in a family story. The scenes with her always made me smile, even if she was whining or sick. Mrs Connor wrote
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A very moving story about two men whose lives were suddenly taken from them.

(view spoiler)
Review edited as per request of the publisher on February 29th. See the comments for more.

I admit I'd be heartbroken if I ever found out this was one of those plagiarised works.

Because I really, really liked this story.

I liked the sweetness of it. I liked it even when it bordered eye-roll-inducing sappiness.

I liked how everything was so delightfully normal. I liked how family and friends didn't just disappear when the crushing started.

I liked how John never forgot to put his daughter first. I
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two men's deliciously UST-filled progress from being complete strangers to being the sweetest of couples? With two small kids around providing much-appreciated adorableness? Sold. I have officially found another go-to author for "relaxing Sunday afternoon reading". Shae Connor, you make my Sunday afternoon more beautiful!

Except I didn't read this story on a Sunday afternoon. I read this at night, after a grueling day at work on Monday, and finished it during lunchtime on Tuesday (again at work),
Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Librarian Kate
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sweet, a bit slow in the pacing, but that was partly because the writing was beautifully descriptive. I thought it was a bit rose-colored-glasses on the rather casual acceptance of John's bisexuality; I've seen some pretty strong negative reactions from gay men when they are told someone identifies as bisexual, and his straight friends seem even less shocked/judgemental. I totally wish the world was more like the people in John and Bryan's world, but the discrimination that bisexual men and wome ...more
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I've not read anything by Shae Connor before, and from what I understand, this is her first full length novel. It's probably best described as a slow burn, as the two MC's take quite some time to admit their feelings for each other. There's nothing wrong with that, nor really with this novel, as it is a pleasant read. However, it did feel like it was on one level the entire time, that there was no upward momentum. Not a bad way to spend a few hours.
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just what I needed a fluffy book :-D

This story was great the relationship building and development flowed great and I spent most of the time smiling while I was reading this book.

It probably won't be for everyone. There was very little angst so if you have to have angst in your stories this probably won't be for you.

This is the first book I have read by the author but won't be the last.

I hope she revisits these characters again i would love to read more.
Mar 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, family-kids
This book felt really long! I can't decide if that's a good thing or not.
Then it just ended.
It seriously narks the shit outta me when I turn the page and see "About the author" when I'm not ready for it. What the hell happened with John's mother? When did they tell Beth? Did Karen have a boy or a girl?
I feel like I was enjoying a Screwball ice-cream and there's no bubble-gum ball in the bottom.

I loved the characters though, they all understood each other, it was very harmonious, to the point I
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really sweet romantic story plotted in slow motion. I liked how the plot developed and how both main characters behaved around each other. In my opinion everything was left open and a lot unsolved, but then you can write whole life in couple of pages. In overall this story was truly well written romance with emotions and warm people.
I think I had too many expectations for this book, the last quarter was okay and the writing was good, unfortunately it went on for too long, slow and I mean really slow. Plus the children weren't exactly adorably cute.
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Peaceful and understanding love story. Most people might find this boring. For me, food for soul.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2 1/2 stars rounded up - This was a sssssllllloooooowwwww burn. The slowest I’ve ever read. This book takes place over roughly a one month period. I have read books that take place over a two week period and are over 500 pages that went so much quicker than this. I honestly would have DNFed this if I hadn’t loved the characters so much. I just wish the storyline had been more interesting. Had I known it was a slow burn, I would not have even bought the book. They just aren’t really my thing. So, ...more
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
maybe 2.5 stars. I gotta admit I liked the premise and enjoyed the first 30-40%. But then the slowburn I enjoyed slowed down even more. And problems from Bryan's past weren't solved solved properly.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A sweet love story, great for a relaxing day when you don't want a lot of drama, just 2 sexy guys falling in love.
Sweet, But Too Simple
Widower John McConnell still grieves the love of his life, the woman he was lucky enough to marry but lost during the birth of their daughter. Five years has given him some perspective, though, and he's just as likely to wake up smiling from memories as he is to wake up aching with loss - which is a major improvement - and there's no doubt their daughter is a source of joy to him. After the first year, a dark time John would prefer to forget, he hasn't given thought to any s
This story didn't draw me in the I would have liked but I did like the MCs and the secondary characters. John and Bryan bring a lot of baggage to their relationship and I liked how they worked through it but there was something missing. I saw the connection between John and Bryan in the author's words but I never felt it.

There is nothing earth shattering here but it is a sweet easy read with a nice HEA.
Chris Kottner-Kirschner
Seit 5 Jahren zieht der Witwer John seine kleine Tochter Beth nur mit Hilfe seiner Tante Meg auf. Während Beth ein sehr fröhliches und kommunikatives Kind ist, trauert ihr Vater noch immer um Liz, die bei der Geburt der Tochter gestorben ist. John lebt nur für Beth und seine Arbeit als Statistiker. Freunde hat er kaum, auch wenn es in der ruhigen Gegend am Meer viele freundliche Menschen gibt. Darunter auch Bryan, der bei seiner Schwester, Schwager und deren kleinen Sohn Jeremy lebt und arbeitet ...more
Oct 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Review found at:

John lost his wife during the birth of their daughter five years ago. He spent the first year trying to drown his sorrows in meaningless sexual encounters with men and women. He finally decided to make a new start and moved in with his aunt on the beach. He deals with his pain by keeping busy with work and raising his daughter Beth.

Bryan, who is openly gay, shows up in the small beach town to help his sister and her family, renovate an old
Sandra "Jeanz"
Sep 07, 2011 rated it liked it
John McConnell is a widower and is getting along fine raising his daughter on Georgia's Tybee Island, though he wouldn't exactly say he's happy.John is haunted by the memory of his dead wife, he hasn't even considered dating again. All that changes when he meets Bryan Simmons in the park. It doesn't take long before John realizes that what he feels for Bryan could be something real. But how will John know when he's ready to move on?
Bryan carries his own
Kerry  sullivan
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gblt, romance
This book was reviewed for musings of a bookworm

The synopsis
Widower John McConnell gets along fine raising his daughter on Georgia's Tybee Island, though he wouldn't exactly say he's happy. Haunted by the memory of his dead wife, John hasn't considered dating again until he meets Bryan Simmons in the park. It isn't long before John realizes that what he feels for Bryan could be something real, but how will he know he's ready to move on?

As John soon discovers, Bryan carries some heavy emotional
Amneris Di Cesare
Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Reading MM is getting more and more repetitive. Same stories, same douts and indecisions, same violence and rape and bashing episodes... Everything depends on author's ability to describe and characterize the novels and attract the reader. This one, for example, was boring for the most of the book. At the beginning, the encounter of the two soon-to-be-lovers might be rather appealing, the attraction, the doubts, the sense of guilt of the widower who was unconsolable for the loss of his beloved w ...more
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-ok, children
I would like to start by saying I am not a fan of the Slow Burn romance. I have no patience and would like instant (or at least near instant) gratification when it comes to romance. Up until around the 80% mark the characters did little more than kiss. There was a lot of backstory told (the characters both had romantic tragedies in their past) but I just couldn't get myself interested enough in the backstory, or if I am being honest in the current romance. It seemed too long in the telling, almo ...more
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
I'd give it a 3.5
A sweet story filled with heavy emotional baggage by both John and Bryan. I liked that the guys started off as friends brought together by the two little kids Bethy and Jeremy. It was fun watching them interact and for the light to suddenly go on and for John to almost freak out when he realized he had romantic feeling for Bryan... feelings like he'd had for his deceased wife. I understood why the author chose to take their relationship slow but the details of daily life and inc
Sep 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Sand and Water is a gentle love story staring two lovelorn heroes. John McConnell thinks his life is great even though he is raising his daughter alone ever since the death of his wife, Elizabeth. He has no time nor thoughts of dating any time soon… That is until an ordinary day spent at the park with his daughter he meets newcomer, Bryan Simmons. He likes what he sees and the more time John spends with Bryan the more he realizes just how much John wants more. No matter how much he tries to go s ...more
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved the story of John and Bryan. Both men have a lot of issues that could drag them down, but Connor does a great job at pushing them forward. I haven’t read any novels previously where a man discovers his bisexuality later in life, and I wondered how the author would get me there – could I believe that he could fall in love with a man, considering his love for his wife? How would they deal with the community’s expectations? Et cetera. And for me, I’m not all-for romances with children. But ...more
Nov 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Nice slow build romantic story for guys who want something other than graphic couplings. Well written book which jogs along at a pace keeping you wanting to know more. My main grouse is that it ended when it did with so many incomplete stories - for example John's mother and her reaction to his relationship with Bryan, the dinner scene seemed odd apart from the fact that you could contrast her behaviour with that of Beth's other grandparents. Maybe Shae is planning a follow up book to continue t ...more
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Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker by day and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a while to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down.

Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to he
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