Title: Second-Story Man
Author: Robert P. Rowe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Carlos and Michael
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Offering a would-be thief a second chance is risky—especially when he could steal your heart.
Carlos had it all: a good-paying construction job, a truck, a rental house and his girl. Then he lost his job and everything else along with it. Desperate, he turns to crime—only to fail in his first attempt when he accidentally climbs into the wrong window. Carlos has to rethink his life when his victim becomes his only friend.
Michael has lost too many times in love. Prince Charming won’t be knocking at his door, with its do-not-disturb sign permanently in place, when fate finds Carlos climbing into his window. Michael’s compassion for this down-and-out lost soul turns to friendship. But Michael can’t allow things to go any further and still feel safe from heartbreak.
There are no accidents, and the second-story man discovers that in life and love there can be a second story.
To my knowledge, this is the first book I’ve read by Robert P. Rowe. I have to admit, I love reading new authors for me, and Mr. Rowe really knocked my socks off with this gem of a story.
Second-Story Man starts off with a slow burn and in my opinion, ended with a bang! I loved the gradual build-up between the two heroes relationship and really enjoyed watching these two well-written, interesting characters form a tentative friendship that develops into a deep burning love.
When the story begins Carlos life has hit rock bottom. He’s unemployed *by no fault of his own* and is living with a roommate who takes advantage of him. He’s done everything possible to make ends meet, but still struggles to survive in today’s economy. Without much choice, he decides to steal from an open window of an apartment on the second-story. Despite his guilt and misgivings, he doesn’t want to be homeless, so he breaks in through the window only to find a sleeping man in his bed. Even though he is quiet, he still wakes the man up and is confronted from his would-be burglar. To his surprise, the man, Michael, recognizes Carlos’ desperation and takes pity on him. He ends up offering Carlos a place to stay and gives him an opportunity to get his life back in order. Shocked, at first Carlos thinks Michael is crazy and leaves, but when Carlos is thrown out of the place his shares, he is soon left without much choice but to take Michael up on his offer.
What I really liked about this book was the way the two heroes lives really become entangled with each other. Also, there is a lot of personal growth both men go through that I enjoyed watching. I liked how, in the end, they both begin to bring out the best in one another. I also appreciated the way Carlos’ surprising attraction and his homosexual feelings panned out. Carlos has never admitted his attraction for men, so watching him deal with his affection and eventual love for Michael was a joy to see.
Michael on the other hand has been hurt badly in the past. As a victim, he must also work through some heavy issues himself. He’s also has a bit of OCD and can be a control freak, but bit by bit, he begins to loosen up and enjoy life again. I loved watching these men really connect and truly bring out the best within each other.
Second-Story Man is a well-written book that will leave you with a smile on your face. Between the interesting characters and the strong human connection they have for each other, this is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. I’m anxious to read more by Mr. Rowe and definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a great romance.
Reviewed By: Gabbi
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