Title : Strong Enough
Series : Family Series, Book #2
Author : Cardeno C
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 200 pages (e-book)
Published : August 30, 2013
Rating : ★★★★★
A Book in the Family Series
When twenty-two-year-old Emilio Sanchez sees handsome Spencer Derdinger walking by his construction site, Emilio makes it his goal to seduce the shy professor. Getting Spencer into bed isn’t difficult, but Emilio soon learns that earning the trust of a man deeply hurt will take time and patience. With a prize like brilliant, sweet Spencer on the line, Emilio decides he is strong enough to face the challenge.
Spencer is surprised when he’s approached by the gorgeous construction worker he’s admired from the safety of his office window. Acting spontaneously for the first time in his thirty-eight years, Spencer takes Emilio home. When the casual hookup turns into the potential for love, Spencer realizes that if he wants to build a life with Emilio, he’ll need to be strong enough to slay his personal demons and learn to trust again.
I want to say this upfront – I loved this book! I am not one to usually like books where the characters jump into a relationship quickly, but this one fit. It really works. The characters are adorable and sexy, sweet and passionate, and did I mention sexy? Right.
Emilio is just one of those characters I couldn’t help but love. He is tall, dark and handsome. Sexy and confident, without being arrogant. He is an electrician and works for his family’s construction business. He is also working on obtaining his general contractor license, so he can do just about any aspect of construction. Apart from him being handy to have around and sexy to boot, what makes him loveable is his ability to see beyond his immediate wants or needs and truly listen and be attentive to Spencer. He is mature beyond his twenty-two years and the perfect fit for someone like Spencer.
Spencer is a sweet, shy, intelligent college math professor and very innocent in some ways even though he is thirty-eight years old and has been in relationships before. He has insecurities from past relationships, one which has affected Spencer’s ability to be intimate and trust again. His last relationship was with, Peter, a total jerk that did nothing to help Spencer feel less insecure or that he was worthy of being loved. I really did not like Peter!
When Emilio first sees Spencer on the campus, he knows he wants to meet him. When Spencer catches himself staring at Emilio, he quickly walks away, afraid of what the gorgeous construction worker will think, but continues to watch him from behind the blinds of his office window. One afternoon, Emilio has a chance to approach Spencer in the parking lot. He comes on pretty strong, making suggestions that Spencer just cannot comprehend. How could anyone like Emilio want him? We get a glimpse of Spencer’s insecurities at this moment and also Emilio’s optimistic outlook. Spencer is dazed by the flirtation and allows Emilio to follow him home, where he lives in an older home in a historic district. Once there, Emilio begins to understand that his attraction to Spencer goes deeper than a weekend hook up and makes Spencer an unusual offer.
I loved how Emilio tuned into Spencer’s discomfort and talks about the repairs and renovations that Spencer wants to do to his home, to help him relax. The relationship moves very quickly but the story gives us insight into Emilio’s history and makes it work. Spencer’s and Emilio’s families could not be more different and we see how this affects the way they relate to people and their views on relationships. I loved Emilio’s family, his brothers are a hoot and I enjoyed the dynamics between them. The relationship between Emilio and his sister and how it pertains to Spencer was touching and a bit difficult to read but I thought it brought up some necessary conversations about a topic that can affect women or men and its repercussion on them and the people who love them.
While reading this book, I laughed, had teary moments, felt angry (Peter) but over all it made me very happy. It is a lovely, sweet, feel good romance that touched my heart with characters I thoroughly enjoyed. I know Emilio may be too perfect for real life but I am willing to overlook that. Spencer is a sweetie and really deserves this chance at happiness. Sometimes it is nice to have a couple that is sweet and, overall, happy. Happy is good. I had not read anything by this author before but I will definitely be looking to read the first book in this series, Something in the Way He Needs (Family #1), as well as other titles by this author.
Rated 5 stars by Deb