Title: Trust in Me
Author: Lori Toland
Characters: Jamie Hunter, Tristan Winters
POV: 1st person (Tristan Winters)
Book Cover Rating: 4
When Tristan takes over for an injured employee, he runs into an old high school crush. Ten years after a summer fling with Jamie, left him with a broken heart, Tristan’s got a different view of it; will he push away the only man he’s ever loved?
This is one of those feel-good “fix-it” stories, where characters have a chance to right the wrongs of the past. It is one of my favorite types of stories, because I love the idea of people growing and changing over time and then reconnecting to rebuild the bridges they burned.
In this case, Tristan Winters and Jamie Hunter had a sordid, passionate night together back when Tristan was eighteen and Jamie twenty-one. It was the culmination of the geeky Tristan’s crush on the gorgeous, muscled football star and is shown in flash back as a critical part of Tristan’s sexual awakening. He was in love with Jamie, and despite being left cold the morning after, Tristan has never really gotten over him.
They meet at a convention that Tristan was not supposed to attend; as the blurb states, he’s filling in for an employee of his who can’t make it due to an injury. For most of the convention the two men are fairly cool to each other. Jamie’s reactions are a little weird, but Tristan is still too mad about the events of ten years ago to ponder that too much.
It’s not until Jamie gets some dutch courage and drops by Tristan’s hotel room after midnight that the events of that fateful night become clear: Jamie thinks he date-raped Tristan, taking advantage of the younger man in a moment of weakness. His shame about this has kept him from even trying to contact him over the years. Tristan, meanwhile, has to come to terms with the realization that his youthful anger is misplaced. Their talk turns to passion as they both realize they are still carrying torches for each other.
While I find it implausible that grown men who have spent most of their twenties single would have never fallen in love with anyone other than someone they slept with once when they were young men, Toland manages to make their mutual love for each other believable. It is a very sweet story of reconnection and forgiveness, with a nice wrap up as the guys visit their parents (who live next to each other) together as a couple. Toland’s writing is solid, and the characters likeable, and the storyline romantic and hopeful. This is a fun summer beach read!
Reviewer: Cooper West ~ www.cooper-west.com