Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary M/M romance from Roan Parrish. THE LIGHTS ON KNOCKBRIDGE LANE takes us back to Garnet Run, Montana (book 3 of the series) with a single father and his precocious child inexplicably wooing a reclusive climate scientist. You might also like BETTER THAN PEOPLE or BEST LAID PLANS which has some connecting characters in this small town life.
Raising a family was always Adam Mills’ dream, although solo parenting and moving back to tiny Garnet Run certainly were not. After a messy breakup, Adam is doing his best to give his young daughter the life she deserves—including accepting help from their new, reclusive neighbor to fulfill her Christmas wish.
Though the little house may not have “the most lights ever,” the Mills home begins to brighten as handsome Wes Mobray spends more time there and slowly sheds his protective layers. But when the eye-catching house ends up in the news, Wes has to make a choice: hide from the darkness of his unusual past or embrace the light of a future—and a family—with Adam.
From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.
Adam Mills is licking his wounds in his tiny hometown of Garnet Run, Wyoming, now that his marriage is over. He’s just moved in and is trying to reconnect to his only family who will speak with him, a younger sibling called River. They live and work at a cat shelter as will help out with the care of Adam’s eight year old daughter Gus (August). And, River hooked Adam up with a job at Charlie’s hardware. We learned all about Charlie and Rye in BEST LAID PLANS. Gus is a heck of a handful, and Adam’s reminded of this when she is hauled back home by their surly recluse of a neighbor Westley Mowbray–after she broke into his basement to see his lizards.
Wes is a man living in a run-down house on Knockbridge Lane. He’s nocturnal, and weird, and all the neighbors think he’s a vampire or a witch, but Gus adores him immediately. Because she’s enamored with science and it’s clear to her that Wes is kindred spirit. He’s running all sorts of experiments out there in his home, and Gus absolutely wants to know Wes’s secrets. Wes isn’t sure how he became so fascinating but he’s been alone so long that it’s a bit unnerving to be so wholly welcomed by anyone, and Adam does make him welcome, as long as he leaves his tarantula back at his home.
Getting over Mason, Adam’s ex, has been hard, and he really wants to make Christmas good for Gus now that they are settling into their new home. Her idea of what would make this the best Christmas is to decorate their house with the most Christmas lights ever, and Adam is determined to try and make that happen. He puts out a call for donations of lights on his Instagram, and is happy to receive lights from some nearby folks who can drop them off locally. This means they need Wes’s help attaching them to the house, which keeps Wes in their orbit, to some degree. He’s not super neighborly, at first, but Gus is certainly charming him with her keen interest in all his experiments.
Adam’s more than overwhelmed with his personal issues, and he’s trying to mask it for Gus’s sake, putting up the lights that keep pouring in and sharing pics of the results on his social media. His request for lights goes viral, though, which starts to bring people from all over to take pics of the house, and this spooks Gus and Wes–as well as Adam. Wes has been hiding out in Garnet Run from his own sordid history–once a semi-famous child actor, he’s keeping a super low profile due to anxiety from paparazzos. And it’s building again with the strangers who are appearing on Adam’s lawn.
This is honestly such an amazing read. I’m not actually doing it justice in the review. Adam is a sweetheart, a big ol’ marshmallow trying to cope with his grief and manage the care of his exuberant and precocious daughter. She’s a trip, and I loved how she and Adam were so tight in their bond. Meanwhile, Wes doesn’t want to need anyone, and he thinks being a recluse will facilitate that, but he’s parched earth awaiting a rain–and Gus and Adam are a flood of love. He has no capacity to keep their generosity of hearth and home at bay. That said, there are moments of hurt, and self-preservation, and need. And, sometimes there do not match up well for Adam, Wes and Gus. They each have issues to work through, and it takes a minute or two to find closure and allow healing to happen.
There aren’t a whole lot of steamy moments, but there is joy, and elation, and connection–not only for Adam and Wes, but for Wes and his estranged family, for Wes and his community–that he thought he could live without. Well, Adam may not exactly connect with Bettie, Wes’ pet tarantula, but they do reach an understanding of sorts. And, because this is romance, there will be a falling out and a grand gesture and these guys will connect ever stronger after having that small break. I’m so in love with this series that I STILL wish Garnet Run was a real place so I could be friends with Adam, and chat with Wes and help Gus with her next experiment.
About the Author:
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!