Hi there! Today I’m sharing a contemporary M/M romance from Leta Blake. STAY LUCKY is a standalone single dad and second-chance romance set in a small town. This was originally published in Ms. Blake’s pen name (Halsey Harlow), but is now being re-released in her own name.
Grant long ago gave up on a relationship with Leo Garner. After all Leo left him for a movie star, and who can compete with that? But now, Leo’s back with his adorable, genius daughter in tow, leaving Grant consumed by three important questions:
1) Did Leo come home looking for a fresh start without the movie star?
2) Does he want a do-over with Grant too?
3) Why else would Leo be hanging around Grant’s hospital so much anyway?
The attraction between Grant and Leo is undeniable, and soon their affection reignites as well. But will their luck hold out through health scares and family drama so they can find their happy ending at last?
Dr. Grant Anderson has a bad bedside manner and even worse personal temperament. He’s moody, mean and delights in making nurses and underlings cry–because he’s a surgeon, and plainly put, an asshole. He’s never really had any lasting relationships, and he’s not about to start up with the last man who touched his heart, Leo Garner. Six years ago, Grant and Leo were really starting to get serious, but then Leo’s high school sweetheart Curtis Banks swooped in from Hollywood and convinced Leo to give him another chance. Grant won’t admit it to anyone, let alone himself, but he was heart-broken.
It wasn’t hard to keep up with Leo’s escapades with Curtis–they were all over the tabloids. Including Leo’s heart transplant a couple of years ago, and what looks to be a permanent separation. Finding that Leo and his daughter-niece Lucky have relocated back to tiny Blountville, North Carolina is frustrating to Grant. But, learning that Leo’s on dialysis for transplant-related kidney failure gets Grant all charged up again. Leo’s tentative about reconnecting; he’s not sure how long he has left even though he’s barely thirty. He adopted Lucky from his younger sister Hannah–who happens to be both a flighty drug addict, and a perfect match as a kidney donor. If only she could be coaxed into donation.
This story is told in a series of flashbacks over the course of several months, from the night prior to the surgery to the point of Grant and Leo’s reconnection: ten months before surgery. Grant’s caustic personality causes precocious 6 year-old Lucky to take him to task for making nurses cry. Grant’s intrigued by the fearless girl, even before he finds out she’s Leo’s. Lucky’s got a well-tuned BS meter, and she can tell that blunt and brash Dr. Anderson will be brutally honest, no matter what. Their rapport grows from this understanding, and Grant takes to spending time teaching Lucky to play chess while waits for Leo’s dialysis appointments. While Curtis doesn’t want to let Leo and Lucky go, he’s never been the emotional support Leo needed–and their sex life was mutually unsatisfying.
With Grant, Leo’s able to find not only peace but satisfaction. Yet, as Leo’s health continues to fail, Grant’s need to fix his lover becomes consuming. Leo’s extended family is on the case, too, tracking down Hannah and helping her get clean and sober so she can help her dear brother. There are plenty of setbacks and moments of extreme pain. And, I’m not talking about the kink Grant and Leo get up to!
I liked this one, though it’s not my fave book from this author. Grant’s obnoxious bedside manner reminds me a lot of Dr. Patrick McCloud of the Will and Patrick series, and there are some other parallels to that set of stories. Lucky is more cute than I expected, given the author’s notes. The romance is cautious on Leo’s side, given his history and health issues. Grant’s far less tentative than I expected him to be, and he’s got all the right answers for Leo’s sexytimes needs, which surprised me. His history seems more than a bit murky, and I could see this character being a precursor to Patrick, for that reason. Patrick had a lot more page time to reveal his secrets to the reader–and was a lot more complex, as a result. Grant comes off as a jerk for so much of this story, it’s hard to remember that he’s been wounded by Leo before.
Without question, however, I was charmed by the reconnection romance, and I was glad to find the happy ending is solid and strong. Grant was definitely all-in from the moment he relaxed and let Lucky sneak into his heart–to join Leo–and his tenacity and passion are given without reserve. It’s sweet, a bit spicy and has tons of feels for Leo, Grant and Lucky.
About the Author:
Leta Blake is the author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.