Wendy and Dana review ‘Anthony’ A Single Dads of Gaynor Beach Romance. Published December 6, 2022, 279 pages.
During my seven years as a social worker in Gaynor Beach, California, delivering orphaned twins to their unsuspecting father is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced. These babies lost their mother and they need a loving parent, but is adorable Scott Wexler up to that challenge? Transferring custody is one thing—walking away is something entirely different, especially with the stress of Christmas bearing down on Scott too.
After escaping a miserable childhood, I’ve made a fresh start in California. I’m in charge at the Gaynor Beach Public Library, I love helping people, and I’m feeling like an actual functional human being. Then social worker Anthony Rodrigues shows up on my doorstep with twins I fathered through a sperm donation, and suddenly I’m responsible for two tiny lives. Accepting help from the gorgeous social worker is a no brainer—admitting I want him to stay is going to take a lot more courage.
This 74k word gay romance is a slow burn, mid-angst, instalove with a geeky librarian, a by-the-book social worker, adorable twin-toddler terrors, and a beleaguered cat named Crumpy.
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I should’ve called first.
I eyed the two car seats with sleeping babies at my feet. Everything’d happened so fast. One moment I was sitting in my office writing a report, and the next thing I knew, a pile of paraphernalia was being loaded into my SUV. But I was at my wit’s end.
This was probably a bad idea, but every other avenue I tried hadn’t panned out. So I’d given up, put the babies into my vehicle, and programmed Scott Wexler’s address into my GPS. A stack of papers in my messenger bag was supposed to explain this…whatever this was.
After ensuring the babies were still fast asleep, with the carriers rocking gently on the concrete front step, I rang the doorbell.
Zayden stirred, then quickly resettled.
Alicia didn’t move a muscle. Not even a twitch.
The door flew open, and my breath caught.
I’d met Scott several times during the six years I’d been a social worker at Gaynor Beach. Work or pleasure had taken me to the library where he worked/reigned/ran the show. We’d crossed paths there occasionally—but we’d never spent any significant time getting to know each other.
“Anthony?” Scott’s brow furrowed as he adjusted his glasses. His light-auburn hair stuck out in various directions, and an indentation adorned his cheek—like he’d fallen asleep against a pillow with piping. His bright-green eyes lacked focus, and he squinted in the bright morning sunlight.
And he wore tighty whities and a bright, white T-shirt with black lettering that said Who’s Your Daddy?
I nearly choked.
What am I supposed to say?
Why I read this book: I love the world that Gabbi Grey has created! I read everything I can by this author.
This book is part of the ‘Men of Gaynor Beach’ series which will have 12 books in total and is the second book in the series by Gabbi Grey. I hope I explained that right lol. I have only read the 2 books in the series by Gabbi Grey so far.
One of the things I love about this author, is that so far, all of her stories revolve around and interconnect (even if only in a minor way) together. This makes me feel like I can really connect with the characters at a deeper level. We’ve seen Anthony briefly before and I have to say that I wasn’t very fond of him. I knew when I started this book that he would need some major redeeming qualities for me to overlook his past.
He doesn’t start off in a way that I thought would make redemption possible and I will say that this is a character that while he has his heart in the right place, sometimes doesn’t make the best of choices. He does have his reasons and they are BIGGIES, but at times, it clouds his judgement and gets him in trouble more than once.
Scott also has had a very difficult past and moved to Gaynor Beach for a fresh start a few years ago and is enjoying his life as the head librarian at the public library. As luck would have it, his old college bestie located the sperm he had donated while desperate for money and used it to become pregnant… with twins.
This is where things get a bit complicated and I won’t spoil the story for you by revealing too much (I hope). So I will give the long story short version.
Things don’t work out for college bestie mommy ( which is its own entire can of worms) and she leaves the twins with the local social worker aka/Anthony who delivers them to a very surprised Scott. None of this goes over well with the heads of the social services department and things heat up as Scott and Anthony band together to fight for the twins and discover that if they can make it through everything being thrown their way, maybe they can be a family.
There’s a super big twist that happens and it turned everything upside down for me. It doesn’t end well and I felt like the thing might lead to regrets later on. We’ll see I guess. Sometimes you have to let things go and this might be one of those times.
I enjoyed this story very much and Anthony did redeem himself in my eyes, I hope he does for you too.
9.5 Pots of Gold or 95% recommended
Why I read this book: I am a fan of this author and I have read and reviewed most of this multi-authored series so far.
When it comes to the Single Dads of Gaynor Beach series, this author does one thing I really appreciate; she weaves characters from other books into her story. For a tight-knit community, it really is nice to see glimpses of the characters from other books to provide continuity.
In Gabbi Grey’s first book of the series, Hugh, Anthony was introduced as kind of a villain in that story. I can say for sure that I didn’t like him, and I wasn’t completely sure that she was going to be able to redeem him in this story. As a social worker, he really stuck it to Oscar, and the baby’s deceased mother (when she was alive). When he brings twins, Alicia and Zayden to Scott’s house in this book, Scott opens the door in a funny but not kid-friendly crop top and underwear, and Anthony was ready to hand over Alicia and Zayden with little question. At first, it made me even more mad about Anthony’s previous behavior. But as the story goes on, and his own tragic past is revealed, the hang-ups he had with Oscar were much more personal to Anthony and had nothing to do with Oscar, himself.
Okay, that was a lot to unload just about the backstory but it felt important especially if you hadn’t read the first book. In this book, Anthony seems chastened about his previous behavior. He is extremely awkward when he runs into Oscar and his husband Hugh, but it is out of shame and I do believe he has learned something from the previous book.
Now Anthony is an extremely helpful social worker when it comes to Scott. He helps Scott get settled with the kids, sticks around to help babyproof things, and pretty much moves in. At first it’s concern for everyone’s welfare, and then he slowly grows attached to the twins and to Scott. Scott is a librarian and while he is familiar with working with kids, he hasn’t ever considered having any of his own. Scott is pretty likable character from the onset, and he did appear briefly in one of the previous books. His own past is painful, after he was ostracized from his family and community when he came out as gay. Besides that, his parents were no-nonsense, God-fearing, farmers who didn’t celebrate Christmas or birthdays, His childhood seemed lonely and without love.
Scott, and Anthony both want to create a better life for the twins than they experienced, but they have to come to terms with what their relationship is first. Is it just Scott holding on to the lifeline that is Anthony? Is it proximity? Or are they truly falling for each other? Because of the children being uprooted and the adjustment period, the romance is pretty slow-burn, and the characters have to get out of their own way to make things happen. I really loved the epilogue of the story. In the end, I did end up liking Anthony, he was redeemed, and he and Scott were a great couple addition to the Gaynor Beach series.
9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended) – Compares to 4.75/5 Stars
USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.
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