Posted by gaylistbookreviews
Title: Finding Shelter
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press May 2013
Blurb: Rock Bay: Book Three
Justin Foster has nineteen years of nothing but trouble behind him. After escaping his abusive father, he finds himself in Rock Bay, Washington, with his cousin Travis. Justin is bruised and has a hard time trusting, but with the help of his family and the small town, he might be able to heal.
Logan O’Brien is also new in town, hoping he can finally get away from his past and the memories of the girlfriend who shattered his heart. It doesn’t take him long to realize Rock Bay can be more than safe harbor: it can also be home. And for the first time in his life, he finds himself captivated by a man—by Justin.
Justin is attracted to Logan too, but he’s also wary. Physically, Logan reminds him a bit too much of the closeted jerks who used to beat him up after school. But after one awkwardly amazing kiss, he’s smitten, despite how his past and insecurities continue to haunt him. Logan’s love, faith, and stubbornness are just what Justin needs to believe their love is worth fighting for.
Review: This book is definitely part of a series, and while each story is about a different couple, the lives of each couple in the small town of Rock Bay, Washington are very deeply intertwined. You would miss out on a lot of in-jokes and the significance of some of the essential secondary characters if you didn’t read the other books in the series first. This is a good world and a great series, I grew to care for the people who populate this small town.
This series runs the gamut of favorite tropes. The first in the series, Coming Home, is an enemies-to-lovers story of redemption and second chances. The second book, Letting Go, is a story of the difficulties of a bisexual man coming out and the judgement of the old “If you can be with either gender why not make your life easier and just be with the opposite sex?” attitude that leaves no room for personal relationships or falling in love. The author dealt with this issue wonderfully. Finding Shelter is a gay-for-you story where, once again, the author handled some sticky issues with sensitivity and love.
Poor, sweet Justin has known nothing but abuse of almost every kind you can think of his whole life. An alcoholic, mentally ill father who beats him constantly. A distant and emotionally unavailable mother who doesn’t really protect him or accept him. Bullied, physically and sexually assaulted at school and growing up under the judgemental eyes of a very small town. My heart broke for him. I wanted him to find the love and acceptance that had been denied him by those who should have protected and cared for him. Justin’s emotional development was done so well. I appreciated that the author didn’t magically fix all his issues or have him jumping straight into the arms of his hero. She allowed him to heal and make friends and be a young man living on his own for the first time.
Logan is awesome. He’s a protector and a fun, sweet and genuine friend. He and Mason have been best friends since they were three years old. I think in many ways growing up with an obviously gay best friend helped him to quickly accept his feelings for Justin without a lot drama or a sense that there was anything wrong with having those feelings. I love Logan. He was the perfect match for Justin.
Watching these two beautiful young men come together, as Justin healed and became a man who can handle the love that Logan is so good at lavishing on him, was a moving and fun journey. Watching Logan so patiently coax Justin out of his shell and accept that he had value and was important was a joy. I loved the friendship that gradually developed between them. Enjoyed the way the tension built until they were slowly going out of their minds with want for one another. Neither of them knowing that the other one was falling in love as well. You will find yourself cheering for these boys. This is a delightful story of first love and personal discovery.
Reviewed by Nina
Posted on June 4, 2013, in Nina and tagged a haunting past, Abuse, B List, Bullying, Catering, Coffee House, College Student, Coming Out, coming-of-age, Contemporary, Crazy Family, Domestic Violence, DSP, First Love, Friends to Lovers, Gay For You, Homeless, love triumphs over all, M/M, Making Your Own Family, Mental Illness, New Beginnings, Nina, Pacific Northwest, Rock Bay, romance, Runaway, Series. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.