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Fresh Start

(Cedarwood Beach #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  45 reviews
If they want to be together, they have to forgive…

Dawson is America’s it boy.
Being a Hollywood A-list actor has come with its cost. And if he doesn't want to lose everything, his secret must stay in the closet.
He never imagined a quick trip to his parents' new home would bring him back. His first, and last, love. The one that ran away.

Leo has failed at everything.
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published February 29th 2020 by Rhys Writes Romance (first published February 2020)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  91 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
Audio 4 Stars
Story dnf at 74%

The MCs have a past, they're both celebratees and they've been separated for 17 years. The reason for the separation has caused resentful and hurt feelings.

What didn't work for me was how the relationship developed. Their first few encounters isn't friendly. One MCs wants to make peace, the other one doesn't. Once they finally have the conversation that clears up what happened in the past, suddenly they become lovey dovey horn dogs. I would have preferred a more gr
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Both Dawson and Leo only went to Cedarwood Beach to decompress, just for a few days of rest before embarking on the next phases of their lives. Neither expected to bump into each other, not after the ugly way they parted ways almost two decades ago.

Maybe this would be the their opportunity to make amends for past mistakes, but what I liked a lot about this book is that it's not centered only around their possible second chance, but it's about mending bridges in more ways than one. During all the
Natalie panda eyes
Apr 15, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a wonderful fairly low-angst story full of some of my favorite tropes: small town, second chance, positively meddling family, and a splash of adorable youngster as an added bonus. Rhys Everly did an excellent job of immersing us into Dawson and Leo’s lives as individuals so that we could fall in love with them as they did with each other. What I especially appreciated was Everly’s ability to make two superstars seem so normal and relatable. This story was also a “coming home” for both m ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m
Rachel Hendry
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fresh start is the first in this new series by Rhys Everly and what a wonderful start too!
This is a second chance romance in every sense of the word, my favourite kind of book so I was thrilled to be given the chance to read this beauty early on, it didn’t disappoint.
The H & H Dawson & Leo had a past, one of hurt and betrayal, both haunted for different reasons and not expecting to see each other again, so when they both end up in Cederwood beach 🏝 with the intention of reconnecting with family,
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm
Rating : 4.5 stars

Great start to a new series.

I really enjoyed this well crafted, engaging book about the Hollywood A-list actor and the former boy band member reconnecting.
The character development made it easy to like Dawson and Leo whose chemistry was still there after many years apart.
A chance meeting in a small town gave them the opportunity to reconnect and once Leo put aside his hurt, the heat levels rose quickly. Of course, all would not be smooth sailing for the couple and they did h
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-s
Great start to a new series. Second-chance romance set in a small, coastal town. What started out in college for Dawson and Leo blew up and out them on different career trajectories for the past seventeen years. But, a much needed break for both takes place in Cedarwood Beach, Virginia where both of their families happen to reside. Their first encounters are not much more than a hurt-fueled war of words, but with the help of a star struck 9 year old their anger erupts into a heat that has never ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Love among butterflies

I’m a fan of small town romances and Cedarwood Beach sounds like a wonderful place for a vacation and to fall in love. I really enjoyed meeting the quirky but lovable cast of characters, looking at you, Yaya. I’m happy we get to revisit the town as I’m curious about Andy’s story. Leo and Dawson are adorable and epitomized enemies-to-lovers and second chances, which I love. Watching them bumble and flutter their way to happiness and love was so much fun.
***Received free book with no obligation to review in Nora's Book Club being in Nora Phoenix‘ Patreon.***

I really liked—the new-to-me—author’s writing style. The changing first person POV worked well for me.

The story was interesting being a current topic and the drama and misunderstanding was on a good level. It’s a good start of a new series and I‘m looking forward to the next book.
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Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was such a fun book!!! I read it in one sitting! I love second chance romance and I love celebrities romance. This was just the perfect book for me and it was so so well written. The characters were deep and well developed and the writing style was beautiful. I loved the family themes in the book. It was great to see both characters trying to make amends with their families. And the ending was very satisfying! I really can’t wait for the next book in this series.

I received an ARC of this book
P Leslie
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, arc-review
A great start to the series!

Dawson and Leo cross paths again but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Mistakes need to be forgiven and the heart that was broken and left behind needs to be mended. Is Dawson up for the task?

Leo didn’t make things easier for Dawson: he made him work for his forgiveness. I enjoyed watching Dawson get under Leo’s skin; it was entertaining to watch.

This story was about so much more than Leo and Dawson. Leo drifted away from his family and the need to make things ri
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book wasn't a good match for me, or maybe I was the wrong reader for it, but I did not like either of the MCs, Leo and Dawson. The author did such a good job painting them as selfish, self-absorbed people for the first 25% of the book that it stuck for me, and their actions in the rest of the book just weren't enough to believe in their connection. It was hard for me to imagine anyone carrying such a strong dislike for 19 years (half their lives) and then to be able to suddenly forgive and ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in a new series. I read an ARC that I hope was an unfinished proof because there are a lot of typos and editing errors and a few continuity errors that I hope get picked up in the final editing process.

The storyline is an entertaining one. This is an enemies to lovers, second chance romance book. The protagonists are a big movie star and a former model/boy band member looking for his big acting break. They have history and ugliness dating back 17 years. Let me mention here
Amy Dufera
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Fresh Start is the first book in Rhys Everly's Cedarwood Beach series. The small town feel is immediately established in this entertaining second chance story.

Dawson and Leo are former college lovers. Both are famous now, and end up in the same small town, setting off a nice reunion, full of longing and passion.

Their story includes a closeted actor, former abuse, and a detailed illustration of the pitfalls of fame. The fact that one is never in charge of their own career is front and
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I simply loved this book.
A second chance romace between two men (I loved that both Leo and Dawson are almost 40 and not young men) who've been together and loved each other when they were in college, but then lost each other due to betrayal and bad decision which hace influenced both their lives.
When they reconnect by chance after seventeen years Leo is so angry and doesn't want anything to do with Dawson, meanwhile he's on the verge of having his big opportunity careerwise. They both need to
Ida Umphers
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book checked lots of boxes for me, one of which is a spunky, young girl determined to get what she wants - a happy ever after ending for our main characters. The rest include, second chance at love, lovers to enemies to lovers, older main characters who have some real life experience behind them, a good start to a series so I will have more to read and characters who really need to just sit down and talk. I loved it when Dawson and Leo finally began to open up, understand each other and for ...more
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I didn't completely connect with Dawson or Leo, and I found it a bit hard to empathise with either of them. Their history didn't feel established enough for them to still have such strong feelings for each other. And on top of that, it took me a long time to actually get over what Dawson did to Leo. I still don't really see how Leo went from holding a grudge to taking a complete one-eighty in a matter of days, especially because it was before they even really talked about what happened. Apart fr ...more
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Butterflies are Free

First off I would like to say I really enjoyed reading Fresh Start a book about Dawson and Leo getting a second chance at love. I liked this book with the exception of a few things that I thought the writer left open-ended and me as a reader wondering.
First when Dawson ran into Leo while on the phone with his agent and they both dropped their phone. They get into an intense argument and Dawson forgot about his agent on the phone, did they get cut off? did he call her back?
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Second chance romance with low angst and forgiveness.  This is a wonderful start to a new series.  We get introduced to a delightful town and some great characters.  Both of these MC's are really coming home and their bigger than life personas are left behind.  I enjoyed the little things in this story like their great dates and  i kove Yaya and the Greek food.  I enjoyed the setting and vibe of Cedarwood Beach.  

Dawson and Leo have a steamy connection but they have lots to work through and forg
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Love, reunited!!!

This is one of my favorite tropes. Love lost but then found again. This story was cute and I fell in love with the characters right away. Of course, the road to reuniting was bumpy but that gave it more appeal, I think. These characters, Dawson and Leo, were easy to like right away. I liked that Dawson, being a celebrity, didn't run home because of a Hollywood scandal. Both men were just visiting their families until they literally run into each other. There are a lot of laughs,
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Emotional read.

An emotional, raw and angsty read, where one wrong decision rips two people apart. Their love turning into bitterness and hatred.

The author manages to emit the emotions of the two MCs across the pages. Leo and Dawson's feelings were immaculately depicted, however, I must admit that I found myself more in sympathy with Leo than Dawson. I could fully understand his bitterness.

It's a poignant read which had my full attention from beginning to end. I look forward to see what follows t
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sweet and steamy 2nd Chance romance between A-list star Dawson and ex boy band member Leo. This book has romance, charm, sweet little girls, amusing grandmas, interfering sisters and butterflies! It’s full of love and forgiveness and a bit of drama, it’s a quick, enjoyable read and you can’t help falling a little in love with the main characters and routing for them! Great to have an epilogue to give it the perfect ending.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great romance

This was a really second chance romance.

I really liked Leo and Dawson. They have a complicated past, with each other and on their own, and it was great to read their journey, navigating through the past and putting it to rest.

They were headstrong, beautiful men, and the chemistry between was great.

Great story and I can't wait to see who and what is next in Cedar creek
Elaine Gray
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fresh Start is a new series by Rhys Everly. This is a second chance, forgiveness, family, family, some angst romantic book. Dawson and Leo are given a second chance to reconnect and fall in love despite the misunderstanding and their meddling families. This book is well-written with likable characters and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. The book had my interest from start to finish.
Katie Townsend
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fresh start was such a beautiful yet emotional story

Dawson and leo stole my heart from start to finish

My heart broke at times but also got put back together again

Following dawsons and leos journey you watch them learn from mistakes but also learn to trust again and forgive i felt like i was on a emotional rollercoaster and the journey was worth it
Lyndsay TC
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dawson and Leo

This second chance/enemies to lovers romance was sweet and fun set in a small coastal town that immersed itself in butterflies. I don't think there could have been a better setting for Dawson and Leo to reunite and find the love they once shared. I cannot wait for Andy's story next!
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a lovely second chance story! I loved the backdrop the author painted for the story, all the details were well thought out and the secondary characters really complementing it all. The. There were the MCs whom you cant help but love and cheer on!
The emotions were all right and it was fun to read, with low angst.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars! Fresh Start is the first in the new Cedarwood Beach series by Rhys Everyly. It is a second chance romance, enemies to lovers read set in small town Cedarwood Beach. Overall it is an entertaining read, both MC's experiencing their own issues and dealing with the past and unexpectedly see each other again after many years. It was emotional watching their journey to their HEA.
Brian Frauenknecht
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in a new series. This is an enemies to lovers, second chance romance book. I loved getting the chance to meet both Dawson and Leo. I loved seeing how they met and how the sparks started to fly with them. I was so disappointed when the book ended. I can't wait to reach the next one.

I received an ARC of this book, for my completely unbiased opinion.
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Rhys writes gay romance. He has been writing since the tender age of 11 and hasn't really stopped since.

He publishes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the pen name Rhys Lawless and contemporary sweet and steamy romances under Rhys Everly.

Rhys currently lives in London, UK with his husband and their 12-year-old puppy.

You can find out more about him and his works-in-progress by joining his

Other books in the series

Cedarwood Beach (2 books)
  • Wayward Love (Cedarwood Beach, #2)

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