Sunday, April 17, 2016

After the Scrum by Dahlia Donovan

Two men, so different, on track for a romantic collision.
Can they survive the impact?

Title: After the Scrum
Author: Dahlia Donovan
Genre: Sweet M/M Contemporary Romance, Sport/Rugby
Release Date: April 1, 2016
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Designer: Claire Smith
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Caddock ‘The Brute’ Stanford lost his brother and rugby career within the same year. The once man-about-town is now a has-been and guardian to his young nephew. Not sure where life will go after the scrum, he decides to purchase a pub in the Cornwall village of Looe. He never expects to fall in lust—and then love.

Francis Keen hides his crippling anxiety behind his eccentric habits, lush interior design, and beloved dog, Sherlock. Alone by choice after an attack in college left him emotionally scarred, he lives by the sea with his gran, resigned to working small jobs for local businesses. Revamping the pub for the new owner is right up his alley—especially when he realizes who the owner is.

Two men, so different, on track for a romantic collision. Can they survive the impact?


Rating: 4.5*

I don't know why but I tend to avoid romance books set in the UK.  It could have something to do with knowing the places that are mentioned and far away places always seem more romantic.  Whatever the reason, I'm glad I didn't pass up the opportunity to read this as it felt like home.  I had a smile on my face in understanding the slang and rugby, of course, need I say more?

This was a very sweet read and one that will tug at the heartstrings.  Caddock lost his career as a rugby player due to injury and his brother in quick succession and gained full custody of his cute as a button nephew, Devlin.  In deciding to restart their lives, he moves them out of the city to the very beautiful Cornwall.  It is there that he meets the very shy Francis.  His shyness has a lot to do with who he is and what has happened to him in the past.  Can the rugby player and the interior designer find their HEA together?

There was a lot happening other than the budding romance between Caddock and Francis, including dealing with prejudice and the lingering effects of the past.  I loved the colourful nature of the small village and how the locals were encouraging the relationship.  Although complete opposites in physique and character, these guys made for an amazingly sweet couple.  This was a real feel good read.

Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.

 Hot Tree Publishing

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