Thursday, August 10, 2017

Stage Two by Ariel Tachna

Love has a steep learning curve.

Assistant high school principal Blake Barnes has everything he wants—a chance to help troubled students and an outlet for his passion for theater. Well, almost everything—he still goes home to an empty apartment. Then his high school crush explodes back into his life, the unexpected guardian of two boys in Blake’s care.

Thane Dalton has always been a bad boy through and through. Not much has changed, including his mistrust of authority figures, and no amount of institutional bureaucracy will keep him from protecting his nephews from the bullies terrorizing them. If that means butting heads with Blake, so be it.

Blake and Thane have lessons to learn: that they both have the boys’ best interests at heart, that the tension between them isn’t just confrontational, and that sparks can fly when opposites come together.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars

High school teacher Blake and construction boss Thane are thrown together when Thane’s nephews become the victims of bullies at Blake’s school. Sparks fly from the first meeting, but Blake and Thane don’t always agree on the best way to keep the boys safe.

Blake feels a little bland at the start of the story. He doesn’t really have a life beyond his job. It’s his interactions with students that give him colour and let us see his interests and enthusiasm. Thane is all colour and character but when he is given guardianship of his nephews, he finds himself having to grow up and be responsible for the first time ever.

Together, Blake and Thane balance each other. There is one exaggerated miscommunication that I found annoying but otherwise, their relationship is pretty grown up and their focus is Thane’s kids. However, my major reservation about this story is that the adult relationship is secondary to the men's care for the boys. This makes for a sweet story but it isn't terribly sexy.

It took me a while to understand Blake’s role at the high school. I think he’d be a Head of Year in the UK. Much of this story takes place at his school and the author captures the interactions between staff, students, and parents really well.

I’m not a massive fan of family style romances and I don’t often enjoy kids in romance writing. However, Thane’s boys are well developed characters and I really liked the almost young adult parts of this story. The kids do restrict the heat level in this story, but they also add personality and they bring Blake and Thane together.

Also Available in the Lexington Lovers Series

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our A Matchless Man post.

When ARIEL TACHNA was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.

She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands).

Connect with Ariel

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stage Two (Lexington Lovers #3) by Ariel Tachna to read and review.

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