EQUALS by Brigham Vaughn
Details: Book one
Copy gratefully received from author
“Too busy to date while he worked to put himself through school, Russell Bishop's dedication finally pays off; he has a great job with Vantage Marketing.
Stephen Parker, CFO of the marketing firm, has resigned himself to a life without a partner.
For six months, they wanted each other but it isn’t until Russ slips on spilled coffee, and Stephen rushes to his rescue that they discover their attraction is mutual. However, the twenty year age gap between them proves difficult when they begin dating.
Fiercely independent, Russ isn't sure he's ready for long-term commitment. Scarred from a previous relationship, Stephen is afraid history is repeating itself. Is there any way for them to meet in the middle and become equals?”
About two and a half months ago I read ‘TheFrench Toast Emergencies’ by Brigham Vaughn and fell not only for the story and the characters in it, but also for the author and her writing style. Less than a month later ‘Sunburns and Sunsets’ secured this author’s place on my ‘must read’ list. So when I discovered she had a new book coming out I was rather excited.
And my excitement was more than justified. Once again this author has brought me captivating characters in a well timed and smoothly written story. Stephen and Russ seemed to jump off the page and into my head the moment I was introduced to them. I enjoyed getting to know them better as the story went on even if I wanted to knock their heads together on several occasions. I guess my violent tendencies prove how invested I got in their developing relationship and the issues they were facing.
The relationship between these two men and the difficulties they face as a result of the twenty year age gap felt natural. While there was quite a bit of conflict between them, none of it seemed contrived. In fact, most if not all of the issues between Stephen and Russ were a result of both of them being typical men. Their failure to communicate with each other, combined with Russ’s pride and Stephen’s insecurities, was as frustrating as it was recognisable and kept me firmly glued to the story.
This story was well paced. Everything is built up gradually, giving the reader a chance to get to know the characters without feeling overwhelmed by information. The fact that it was the similarities between Russ and Stephen causing most of their problems made this story fascinating. I liked that the age difference was really addressed in this book. The characters are aware of it and, eventually, discuss and tackle it. While the issues between Russ and Stephen were there from the start they didn’t really cause problems until they were together for a little while, which made them all the more painful when they did surface.
|Picture taken from author's website|
This book is hot and I don’t necessarily mean the sex scenes, although I’m not complaining about those. The sexual tension between Russ and Stephen during the two weeks they more or less abstain from acting on their attraction, and the way it grew, was scorching. I found myself getting frustrated for and with them. Which of course only made the release, when it did come, all the more powerful both for the characters and the reader.
I’m delighted there will be a sequel to this book. I’ve gotten quite invested in these two men and their relationship and look forward to the opportunity to see how they grow together in the not too distant future.