Monday, March 5, 2018

The Pick Up by Allison Temple

Title: The Pick Up 
Author: Allison Temple
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Up Red Creek #1
Main Characters: Kyle and Adam
Release Date: March 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Kyle’s life is going backwards. He wanted to build a bigger life for himself than Red Creek could give him, but a family crisis has forced him to return to his hometown with his six-year-old daughter. Now he’s standing in the rain at his old elementary school, and his daughter’s teacher, Mr. Hathaway, is lecturing him about punctuality. 

Adam Hathaway is not looking for love. He’s learned the hard way to keep his personal and professional life separate. But Kyle is struggling and needs a friend, and Adam wants to be that friend. He just needs to ignore his growing attraction to Kyle’s goofy charm, because acting on it would mean breaking all the rules that protect his heart.

Putting down roots in this town again is not Kyle’s plan. As soon as he can, he’s taking his daughter and her princess costumes and moving on. The more time he spends with Adam, though, the more he thinks the quiet teacher might give him a reason to stay. Now he just has to convince Adam to take a chance on a bigger future than either of them could have planned.
My Review:
Okay, I like this book...a LOT. So much, that I am really shocked at all the mediocre reviews of it (at the time I wrote this review which is still a few weeks before release so maybe they will go up). But for me, this book was awesome! There is a ton of heart and emotion built into it. 

Kyle and Adam are an interesting pairing. Kyle is the 'hot mess' single father. His partner, Olivia, died seven months ago, so he and his daughter, Emily, are still trying to find a new normal. He's had to move back home to live with his father just to survive, something that he hates just because it's humiliating. He spends his days as a virtual personal assistant and constantly on the phone. But it's his dialogue with his first grade daughter early in the book that stole my heart. I loved how amazing he was with her, even when he was in the middle of breaking inside. And he definitely wasn't the perfect dad...he makes mistakes, but gah...I loved him so much. The fact that he's still going through the stages of mourning is really moving, too. Everything about his character worked for me...most especially that he is a bit of a hot mess, especially compared to the very contained Adam.

Adam is Emily's teacher. Two years ago he had to leave another teaching job he loved because he got involved with the wrong man. As a result, he really fights hard against his attraction to Kyle, who as a parent is definitely off-limits. Adam is more reserved and conservative. On the other hand, Kyle visibly flails when he gets nervous...and rambles a lot. It's really kind of funny.

But at first, despite the attraction on both their sides, these guys are really developing a friendship, not a romance. In fact, neither of them realize that a relationship might be on the table. Adam isn't out, and Kyle's partner was female. They both just assume the other is straight.

This is a very slow burn build up, but I think that's needed with the details of what Kyle is going through. It really worked for me and made it so that the two are friends first...which I loved. 

There are some truly sweet moments throughout the book, too, especially when Emily is involved in the story. I thought she added a lot, and I loved how Kyle's emotions would seesaw when dealing with her...which is very apropos.

Overall, I just thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was a great start to the series...and I think it was a first novel for Allison Temple. That predicts good things to come in this series. I'm definitely looking forward to more!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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