Read my reviews of previous books in the Irons and Works series:

Free Hand (#1) | Blank Canvas (#2) | American Traditional (#3) | Bio-Mechanical (#4) | Stick and Poke (#5) | Scarification (#6) | Scratcher (#7) | Ornamental (#8) | Snakebites (#9) | Fine Line (#10) | To Touch the Light | Last-Minute Walk-In

This book didn’t make me shed any actual tears, but it did punch me in the chest with feels more than once, as Lindsey returns to form with the latest installment of this epic series. They definitely took a chance by changing up the setting, but I once again find myself thoroughly enjoying this fresh slate while knowing I’ll still get the same high-quality, emotional romance as those set back in Colorado. We caught glimpses of both Max and Jeremiah in the “first” Key Largo book, but I had no problem embracing them as complete heroes in their own right from page 1.

Their “meet cute” is the stuff of legends in the single-rider line of my favorite ride at Disney. At first, they are two adorably awkward guys being awkward together, but the immediate connection between them is so real that things get hot pretty fast. Lindsey maintains a fine balance between making it about their chemistry as opposed to being too perfect to be real. Unfortunately, both Max and Jeremiah come with their fair share of personal baggage, and it promptly gets awkward again.

As we jump forward in time, the awkwardness is still real, with a side of delicious angst. Proximity and shared connections finally push them together again, and it’s a relief even when it means the angst gets cranked to 11 as they attempt to navigate the only type of relationship they think they are allowed. Two characters each trying not to be “too much” who end up over-compensating, lying more to themselves than each other, is the perfect recipe. Add in a dash of external conflict that is another perfect blend of honest trepidation and potential hilarity, and it’s no wonder I put off multiple other projects just to better throw myself into enjoying this novel (that’s a fancy description for binge-reading).

Additionally, I appreciated that though Max and his brother Paris (hero of the previous novel) shared the same childhood trauma, each man addresses and processes it differently enough these were truly individual characters and nothing felt repetitive. Lindsey also once again incorporates Jeremiah’s personal journey in a manner that is both familiar and unique, since visual impairment and its effects are such a spectrum. And, as always, Lindsey fleshes out their world with secondary characters that never overwhelm, but are fascinating enough that I didn’t even know who I wanted next. The teaser at the end for the next book immediately changed my mind, and I’m already looking forward to the next love story in this long, wonderful series.

Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars
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