Title: Painting in the Rain by Dev Bentham
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Length: 34,000 words
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
Helping teenagers is tough. They face so many dangers—peer pressure, drugs, pregnancy, STDs. As a trained social worker, Mike knows all about it. He’s taken a temporary job on the Oregon coast working with at-risk kids. But when he meets Gabe, the father of one of his charges, he finds himself in another type of danger—that of falling in love and getting stuck in a small, conservative town, not to mention living with an angry teenager. And yet, he’s drawn to Gabe in a way he never imagined possible.
Gabe, whose own father left before he was born, stays in a town where he no longer feels welcome. He’s living the life of a lonely artist so that he can be a father to his son, a bond that’s been threatened by divorce and Gabe’s public coming out. When he meets Mike, Gabe is bowled over with a longing so deep that he finds himself willing to risk everything.
But there are plenty of dangers in a small town, and when a gay kid gets hurt and they refuse to leave him to his fate, Mike and Gabe may be risking more than their hearts.
A refreshing storyline and realistic characters are a winning combination in Dev Bentham’s newest release, Painting in the Rain.This engaging novella has an all star cast of charming characters that will steal your heart as they conquer a few challenges on their way to happily ever after.
Mike Malone and Gabe Thompson have a few reservations about getting involved with one another. Gabe’s son Trevor is one of the at risk kids Mike is supervising and Gabe’s relationship with Trevor is hanging on by a thread these days. But neither man can resist the sizzling attraction between them and they are soon spending as much of their free time together as they can. Just as things are heating up between them, Gabe and Mike are faced with Trevor’s anger over their relationship and an unexpected complication from Mike’s job brings trouble to both men.
Mike and Gabe are three-dimensional and well rounded characters. Mike is kind and compassionate and I absolutely loved his interactions with the kids in the at risk group. His concern for their well-being is one of his best qualities and this part of the storyline gives incredible insight into Mike’s character.
Gabe’s character is complex and his complicated past plays a huge role in his present. His love for Trevor is behind all of his decisions and while he is frustrated by Trevor’s anger, he never gives up trying to smooth over their relationship. It takes a lot of courage for Gabe to get involved with Mike and I like that he did not allow Trevor to come between them.
While there are conflicts in Painting in the Rain, none of them affect Gabe and Mike’s relationship. Their communication skills are excellent and they do a great job talking about the problems that arise. Mike and Gabe’s romance flourishes despite Trevor’s animosity and when trouble comes their way, the two men become even closer.
Painting in the Rain is an angst-free romance that is sweet and sexy. Gabe and Mike have a few problems to overcome, but their relationship is strong enough to withstand adversity. There is a bit of a suspense element to the plot late in the story that plays a crucial role with Gabe’s relationship with Trevor.
Another outstanding story from Dev Bentham that I highly recommend.