Erryn reviews ‘Hard Knox (Havenwood Book 3)’ by Riley Hart. The ebook was published July 9, 2020 and is 223 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Kale Williams, released September 2, 2020 and is 7 hrs and 17 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I’m always game for a new Riley Hart book.
A gay guy walks into a straight bar and notices the hottest man he’s ever seen…
Why am I not surprised my life sounds like the beginning of a bad joke? First, my ex cheated on me, and I went running to Havenwood and the mom I have a complicated relationship with. Then, there’s Knox, the gorgeous lumberjack I don’t stand a chance with. To top it off, he’s more than just a pretty face, and I start to fall for him. Knox is kind, funny, honorable, quickly becoming my best friend, and unfortunately, straight with a capital S.
My life has taken a few unexpected turns lately. First, the new guy in town, Callum, has me strangely confused. Then my son, Logan, comes to live with me. He connects with Callum instantly, and I do too. Before we know it, he’s become a daily fixture in our lives, making us laugh, calling me his lumberjack and making this foreign warmth spread inside me.
It doesn’t matter that I’ve never been with a guy before – one kiss from Cal, and it’s clear I’m bi. He turns me upside down. With every laugh, every conversation, every touch and exploration, I fall harder. Sneaking around isn’t ideal, but there’s a lot for us to consider. All I know is I need him. Life has a funny way of throwing a wrench into your plans, though, and things become a mess. But then I’m reminded that while nothing in life is guaranteed, not even love, what Callum and I have built is worth fighting for.
When done well, I enjoy Gay For You stories. Stories of men who have previously lived very heterosexual lives but who find themselves attracted to a man for the first time in their lives and realize, ‘hey, I might be gay or bi after all’. Hard Knox is done well. I found the story completely believable and was pulled in with the great characters and the wonderful plot.
This book takes place in Havenwood – a town I have visited before. Now, somehow I missed book 2, but I was fine, so whether this is your first or third dip into town, no worries, you’ll slide right in. I love small town stories. There’s something heart-warming about knowing everyone in town. That being said, there’s little privacy and that means sneaking around if you want to keep your relationship on the down low.
Callum comes to Havenwood a little broken. His ex cheated on him and he’s decided moving in with mom is one way to cope. She’s welcoming, but her reaction when he’d told her he was gay has always been a pall over their relationship. His homecoming presents her with a second chance to get it right.
Knox settled in Havenwood after his divorce. He loves his kids, but they’re with their mom in Denver. He contents himself with working at the hardware store and doing woodworking projects on his property. He’s embraced small-town living and is quite happy right up until he spots Callum in a bar. He’s drawn to the nurse and the attraction/curiosity is mutual. When his son unexpectedly comes to live with him, this could make things awkward. But it doesn’t. Callum is warm and open and friendly and Knox’s son Logan responds to that kindness. They also share something in common that cements their friendship.
This is a slow burn romance. Both men have had their hearts broken, and both are leery of starting something that might not end well. And Callum has no interest in being thrust into a relationship that is so firmly entrenched in the closet. But he cares about Knox. Comes to love him. And the feeling is mutual. This book is about coming to know oneself, but it’s also about healing. Those books always give me the warm fuzzies.
Plus there’s always the Bad Ass Cool Kids Club.
I loved this book, as you’ve probably figured out. The lovely Kale Williams narrates these books and he’s just perfect, especially the characters with Southern lilts. Present but not overwhelming. Another great book and the set up for the final one in the series was perfect. Can’t wait for Griff’s book.
10/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic. A lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. If she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her reading.
Riley lives in North Carolina with her awesome family, who she is thankful for everyday.