Author: Anne Tenino
Twelve years is a long time to wait for anything, even if you don’t know exactly what it is you’re waiting for, but Lucas Wilder and Gabe Savage have inadvertently been doing that very thing. Despite building different lives filled with experiences that appeared to have little, if anything, to do with one another, neither man was truly able to forget the intensity and hurt of their first encounter. But, when Lucas returns to Bluewater Bay to be Man of Honor at his best friend’s wedding, he and Gabe discover that they just might get a second chance—if they can manage to talk to each other, rather than guess at each other’s intentions.
When I first found out that there would be a follow-up to Helping Hand from the Lights, Camera, Cupid! anthology, I was very excited. Of all the stories I read in the collection, that one seemed the most unfinished to me, and not knowing what happened to Lucas and Gabe was a bit of a letdown. Thankfully, Ms. Tenino tells the rest of their wonderful story in Wedding Favors.
This time, we are reintroduced to Lucas and Gabe as adults: a little more cynical, with more scars, and a shared, but differently remembered, history. They also seem to be completely incompatible. Lucas, an artist to his marrow, is fairly rootless and slightly, yet unintentionally, self-absorbed, but is also kind and quick to reprimand himself when he focuses too much on his own situation. Gabe, on the other hand, has never been interested in doing anything but keeping his family’s land and timber business viable. Most of the relationships he’s had have been about convenience above anything else, but he is always honest about the fact, and is generally content. Except when it comes to Lucas.
As it turns out, the two are more ideal for one another than I could have hoped for. Gabe’s easy manner and patience are a perfect counterbalance for Lucas’s mood shifts and mental wanderings. Alternatively, Lucas acts as a lens through which Gabe can explore the world beyond Bluewater Bay, learn about art, and see what his life could be in an entirely new way. Sexually, they’re likewise well matched, Lucas’s more interesting predilections and Gabe’s appetites fitting seamlessly together in every intimate scene they share.
Though I really liked Gabe and Lucas, especially as they grew closer, their inability to communicate with each other made me want to growl at them both. For two people who learned so much from one another, they remained painfully fluent throughout the story in all the ways it’s possible to misunderstand another person. At the same time, there were plenty of instances in the narrative filled with gentle touches and nuzzles, as both men’s perspectives shifted and softened with their increasing affection. Some of my favorite parts of Wedding Favors included Gabe’s descriptions of Lucas when the latter is either off in his own world, or lost to the pull of his creativity. For me, it was these moments of quiet that held the most meaning.
While Wedding Favors can certainly be enjoyed on its own, I highly recommend reading it as part of the Bluewater Bay series, especially in conjunction with the short that is included in Lights, Camera, Cupid! Seeing Lucas and Gabe’s journey was extremely rewarding given their rough beginning, and I’ve become as enamored with them as some of my other favorite couples in the series. In the end, Ms. Tenino was right in letting them have those twelve years to live apart so that they could have the resolution that they needed. Even though their story feels complete this time, Lucas and Gabe turned out to be great characters, and I would love to see them again, even if it’s just a cameo.
Lucas Wilder’s best friend is a traitor. First, Audrey moved back to their hick-infested hometown, Bluewater Bay, and now she’s marrying a local. His own brother, in fact. And as her man of honor, Lucas gets coerced into returning for an extended stay. Although, between his unfaithful ex-boyfriend and his artist’s block, going home isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Even if the best man is Gabriel Savage, Lucas’s first crush, first hookup, and first heartbreak.
The only reason Gabe hasn’t been waiting for Lucas to return to Bluewater Bay is because he never thought it’d happen. Not that it matters now that Lucas is back—Gabe’s still a logger who’s never been anywhere (Canada doesn’t count), and Lucas is now a famous sculptor who’s been everywhere twice. Plus, there’s that shared past.
When Audrey asks Lucas to make her wedding favors, the only place to set up a kiln is at Gabe’s tree farm. Soon, they pick up where they left off twelve years before, then blow past it, discovering why neither of them forgot the other. Now they have to choose how much of their history they’ll repeat, and what future they’ll make together.
Release Date: April 13, 2015
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Series: Bluewater Bay #7
Genre: LGBTQ, m/m, Contemporary Romance
Format(s): paperback (318 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay #7)
Reviews in the Series:
Bluewater Bay series
Catalyzed by her discovery of LGBTQ romance, Anne Tenino left the lucrative fields of art history, non-profit fundraising, and domestic engineering to follow her dream of become a starving romance author. For good or ill, her snarky, silly, quasi-British sense of humor came along for the ride.
Anne applies her particular blend of romance, comedy and gay protagonists to contemporary, scifi and paranormal tales. Her works have won awards, she’s been featured in RT Book Reviews, and has achieved bestseller status on Amazon’s gay romance list.
Born and raised in Oregon, Anne lives in Portland with her husband and two kids, who have all taken a sacred oath to never read her books. She can usually be found at her computer, procrastinating.
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