Series: Learning to Love: Book Two
Author: Con Riley
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 340 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 Stars
At a Glance: Sol is yet another beautiful addition to this author’s repertoire. It succeeds not with bluster and excess but with a simple longing for stability and family, to find somewhere and someone to belong.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Solomon Trebeck’s heart broke the night of his bi-awakening.
Fifteen years later, Sol’s back in Cornwall where it happened, single, shy, and oh-so lonely. Teaching art to kids wasn’t his life plan. Neither is raising a teenage nephew, but with no family left to support him, a live-in job at a boarding school becomes his life raft.
Problem: that life raft is sinking.
Solution: Sol’s first love could have the cash to keep it afloat.
Reconnecting with Jace Pascoe might save the school—the one place Sol’s nephew is happy. Asking for his help opens old wounds, but Jace helps to heal them, fusing Sol’s broken heart back together. However, Jace has his own shadows, no matter how brightly his smile dazzles.
Falling for Jace again could be so easy. It could also be a huge risk when neither of them plans to stay in Cornwall forever….
Review: Kindness and compassion seem to be showing up more often than not these days as prominent threads running through my reading choices. Either that or I’m just noticing it more, or maybe I’m gravitating towards those books more so lately because kindness and compassion seem to be in such limited supply. Whatever the case, authors are delivering and I’m a massive fan of all these heartwarming stories filled with people being lovely to one another for no other reason than they’re simply lovely people.
Unsurprising to anyone who’s read Con Riley’s work before, Sol has earned its place on my feel-good reading list via two men, Solomon Trebeck and Jace Pascoe, getting the chance to finish what they’d barely begun fifteen years ago, when they were both still teenagers, life wasn’t theirs to dictate, and a promise Sol made became a promise Sol broke through no fault or ill intent of his own. That decade and a half has seen both men through a lot of changes, but one thing remains true: they never stopped thinking about each other in those intervening years. And it becomes clear rather quickly that they’d never stopped hoping for each other either. Falling in love again springs so beautifully from that hope, but not without some challenges to face first.
Glynn Harber once again plays host to this second book in the Learning to Love series, and, in fact, it plays a pivotal, albeit unexpected, role in Sol and Jace’s reunion. Thanks to the school’s close proximity to the Haven, characters from the His series also add to the bounty of this cast, and one resident of the Haven in particular figures prominently into Sol and his nephew Cameron’s lives. Sol gaining custody of Cameron didn’t came without a wellspring of grief and pain, and their relationship is surely suffering the pangs of their losses in a way Cam expresses through the words and actions of a hurting teenager trying to find his way as he grapples with his fears, while Sol struggles with a decent helping of imposter syndrome both as Cam’s guardian and as the head of the school’s art department. Not because he doesn’t love his nephew and is not a talented artist, but because he’s not comfortable in either the role of father figure or teacher. When it’s revealed the school is in serious financial trouble and is likely to close without coming into a monetary windfall, and maybe a miracle too, that’s when Sol is faced with some tough decisions that will eventually come up against the strong and unshakeable foundation that is Jace’s resolve and love.
Con Riley’s romances don’t rest at her characters saying “I love you” to each other. They show how much they love each other in all-encompassing and deeply romantic ways, and this book holds the line in the sweeping acts of kindness department with an ending that didn’t pretend to heal the hurts for Sol and Cameron, or solve all of Glynn Harber’s woes in one fell swoop, but went a long way in softening the burdens when viewed through a lens of art and community and empathy.
Sol is yet another beautiful addition to this author’s repertoire. It succeeds not with bluster and excess but with a simple longing for stability and family, to find somewhere and someone to belong. As was the case with Charles, book one in this series, the deep and confident love between two people is displayed in the faith that going out into the world and doing what sustains the person you love comes along with the trust that that love will always return to you.
You can buy Sol here:
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