After the death of his wife, Tanner Rowe takes a step toward making her dying wish come true and buys the house with the dilapidated barn she’d been inexplicably drawn to in the picturesque Upper Peninsula. But after a year, he still can’t get past his grief long enough to make the repairs he’d promised.
Recently out of prison, Cole Lachlan has little to his name. Homeless, broke, and without many options as a felon, Cole heads to Red Bluff with hopes of a second chance. There he meets Tanner, whose loneliness mirrors his own, and soon Cole is trading room and board for rebuilding the burned-out barn on Tanner’s property that hasn’t been touched in seventy years.
Turns out, the barn holds more secrets than either of them could have imagined. After unearthing a hidden journal from 1948, Cole and Tanner spend their evenings poring over the pages, reading about a young man pining after his best friend. The deeper they delve into this forbidden affair from the past, the more Cole and Tanner’s own relationship shifts—from acquaintances to friends…to undeniable attraction.
But as they begin to deal with the newness of falling in love in the wake of Tanner’s loss and Cole’s past, they also become more determined to unravel the mystery of the young lovers who’ve captured their hearts, the rumors about the fire, and what really happened that fateful night.
This is my first book by either author and I don’t think it will be my last. This is a touching M/M Romance about two different love stories seperated by seventy years. This was a powerful book about the world working in mysterious ways to get things right the second time around.
Tanner is a shell of himself after losing his wife. He tries to honor her by fulfilling her dreams and doing things the way that she would. This is what leads him to offering kindness to a complete stranger looking for a break. As Tanner grows accustomed to being around people again, Cole sneaks under his skin in ways that he was not expecting. I loved Tanner’s generosity and his desire to do the right thing. He is a strong character who willingly gives his loyalty to those he trusts, especially when prejudices come knocking on his door.
Cole is struggling to get back on his feet after turning a blind eye landed him in prison. Cole is prideful and wants to earn his way, which is how he finds himself rebuilding Tanner’s barn. It is while he is rebuilding the barn that he finds a journal belonging to a man from seventy years ago. This journal draws Tanner and Cole together in the hopes of finding out how this young man’s story ends, and shedding light on a horrific truth that altered several lives for good.
This was a very well written story and I loved how seamlessly these authors wove two incredible love stories. The past love story was so very relevant to the present story, and was crucial to bringing Tanner and Cole together. It was tragic and beautiful and everything I look for in a book.
Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars!