There are a few authors I think will end up showing up multiple times in my Friday Favorites Flashbacks. Nicole Edwards is one of them. This is the second showing of this author in this feature. Considering that when I started my flashbacks, the first 5-star review I featured was for a review I originally posted in October 2016, and the review I’m featuring today was originally posted March 7, 2017, and I already featured this author’s Inked on Paper in a flashback, that means within that less than 6 month span I had read and rated two of her books as 5-star reads. Not to mention that I did a Friday Favorites post highlighting one of her series back in February 2021. Yeah, I guess you could say she’s a favorite of mine.
The Pier 70 series is one I often recommend. Although not every book got a rave review from me, overall it’s a series that has stuck with me through the years. Nicole Edwards really explores mental health in depth in these stories. All of the books can be read as standalones, but I would strongly urge you to read them all. They really pack a punch when you watch all of the characters grow as the series progresses. But, if you’re going to read only one of these books, then I don’t know what to tell you because I rated two of the five books at 5-stars. But seriously, this story is amazing.
You can find my original post here from March 7, 2017. Below is my review edited for grammar, spelling, and formatting. The content has not been changed. As I’ve mentioned before, I cannot remember every detail of these books I read years ago therefore cannot put an accurate content warning on my post. I did the best with what I could remember here, although I feel I’m leaving something out.
by Nicole Edwards
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Nicole Edwards Limited
Book #3 in the Pier 70 series
Number of Pages: 371
Source: Amazon Purchase
Ages 17 and up
CW: depression, thoughts of suicide
He’s suffering in silence…
Teague Carter, one of the four owners of Pier 70 Marina, has spent his life feeling rejected. To the point that he has never allowed himself to get close to anyone. He prefers it that way, in fact. But he refuses to believe that his destructive behavior might be something more than rebellion.
He’s unable to speak…
Hudson Ballard, Pier 70’s mechanic, has been fighting his attraction to Teague for years. He has stood by and watched the kid get more and more out of control, but this time is the last. If Teague wants to use sex to escape his problems, Hudson is certainly willing to be the one to show him that he’s good with more than just his hands.
Sometimes words aren’t necessary.
There are fireworks when this out-of-control bad boy agrees to no strings with this tatted up, dominating mechanic.
Can Teague and Hudson keep their emotions from getting involved in their arrangement? Or — thanks to the demons from their pasts — will the darkness steal from them before they have a chance?
I knew from the moment I met them in Reckless that I wanted to read a story about Teague and Hudson. Somehow, I was not prepared for how much I would love them. Both of these men just blew me away.
The understanding and patience that Hudson seemed to have for Teague, even when Teague was acting like a bratty child, was beyond the call of duty. But once I got to see inside of Teague, see the things he’s gone through in life, he just tore me up. By keeping his personal life so private, even once he was getting sexually intimate with Hudson, was not doing Teague any favors. It caused people (not just Hudson) to do things they didn’t even realize were hurting him.
Nicole Edwards strikes a wonderful balance between smart, sexy, sweet, fun, and dark in this story. There are some serious issues that both the heroes have to deal with. They both had moms that, quite frankly, let them down. It’s a testament to how everyone reacts differently to things that Teague and Hudson look at their moms with totally different ideas of why things were done. Sure, it also has to do with their ages and Hudson having a loving brother that never left his side as he was growing up. But it also has to do with personality and chemical make-up.
I was grateful that the author made sure that the reader understands Depression is a medical condition, just like any other. There is such a stigma about this disease even by those that suffer from its brutal claws. And while the story goes about letting people know this is a disease, it doesn’t ignore the fact that friends (even those with the best of intentions) can sometimes look at you as if you’re going to break once they know you are suffering. This story shows all angles of this terrible disease and I appreciate the effort the author went through to be sure of that.
As I said, there is a good balance to this book. Although it’s dealing with a very serious issue I never felt as though it was too bleak or dark as to suck me under. A lot of that has to do with Hudson and his need to take care of others. He would say it’s a need to dominate, but that dominant side is also quite the nurturing side of him. The way he allows Teague to slowly come to him with a mixture of demands and acceptance is a beautiful thing. He realizes quite early on that the thing with Teague will never be able to remain casual and yet he know such an admission will scare Teague so he bides his time. He pushes then waits, pushes some more and waits some more. He is definitely a master of a slow seduction; which made the numerous quick interludes between the two men all the hotter for the anticipation.
If you’re a fan of the other series in Nicole Edwards’ library and have read Ethan, this story touched me the way that story did. There are just so many emotions and a sort of protective instinct that is brought out by their stories.