by Nicole Edwards
Release Date: December 27, 2022
Publisher: Nicole Edwards Limited
Book #10 in The Walkers of Coyote Ridge series
Number of Pages: 357
Source: ARC from the author
Ages 16 and up
CW: domestic violence, abuse, rape, grief
Trey Walker has one major flaw as far as he’s concerned: he impulsively falls in love too easily and too often. That reckless impulse resulted in several failed relationships, not to mention the implosion of his marriage. And what’s the best way to ensure you don’t make that mistake again? That’s easy. You shrug off relationships for good.
And it was working for him.
Right up until it wasn’t.
Trey was on a winning streak until fate threw him a curveball eighteen months ago when he crossed paths with Magnus Storme, the smoking hot, ridiculously persistent twenty-four-year-old owner of Camp K-9. Using the 12-year age gap as an excuse, Trey managed to resist Magnus … for about a minute. Did he mention Magnus was persistent? His first mistake was taking Magnus home, thinking one night with him would get the man out of his system. One night turned into two, then a week, a month, two…
After a year, Trey still adamantly denied falling for Magnus, which meant he wasn’t only lying to Magnus, he was lying to himself.
Just when Trey’s life seems to be cruising along the right track, another unexpected turn arrives, this time in the form of a woman from Magnus’s past. Only Ava March isn’t just any woman, she’s one Magnus has a history with, and now Ava needs him.
Trey has to make a decision: live in denial and walk away from the man he loves or accept that his feelings are in direct contradiction to everything Trey thought he knew about himself.
This MMF romance can be read as a standalone; however, Trey, Magnus, and Ava’s story picks up where things left off in Confessions from the Brantley Walker: Off the Books series.
The majority of this author’s works take place in the same universe, so there is a bit of crossover between series. The relationship between Trey and Magnus started in the Off the Books series, where we’ve been getting snippets of these two and their amazing chemistry. Things in this story pick up where Confessions left off for these two. And while it is true this could be read as a standalone, I don’t believe you will get the full impact of their relationship thus far if you skip those Off the Books stories where they first appear. At the very least, the book I just mentioned.
I want to be clear that I don’t think the author skimped on relationship building in this story, but when you’re working with a throuple there is much more interplay that has to be dealt with. As loyal readers of Nicole Edwards will already know and have felt the chemistry between Magnus and Trey, we now need to feel a connection to Ava to trust the addition of her in their lives is a good thing. Especially when Trey has adamantly stated he is gay and not bisexual.
Ah, sexuality. The general public has learned so much about sexuality in the last 5-10 years. For me, one of the biggest things is knowing that there is no perfect box for most people to fit into. And while Trey has always viewed himself as attracted only to men, but finds himself confused when he starts not only having tender feelings toward Ava but also being sexually aroused around her. I’m not going to classify Trey’s sexuality since the author didn’t do so, but this storyline is one I find much more feasible now than I did in the past. I’ve always found myself accepting of the storyline, I loved Travis’ story from this author, but I didn’t understand it quite as well as I do now. I think it’s a beautiful and important story and the author handles the emotional aspects quite well.
There are also some very important scenes between Ava and her therapist. I’ll warn you, this book could be very hard for many to read. Ava relates her near murder by her husband’s hands but also goes over other things that happened throughout her marriage. Rape within a marriage is not discussed enough and I appreciate the author calling it what it is and not talking around the subject. There has been a lot of trauma in Ava’s life and her journey is heartbreaking but cathartic.
While Trey, Ava, and Magnus have gotten their HEA, I’m looking forward to seeing little peeks of them throughout other books. They all deserve all of the happiness in the world, and I think they’re heading strongly in that direction.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the author. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**