Love Me

Love Me - K.C. Wells 4.5 stars

Trent has been working his way through every willing man along his trucking route for years. One night stands only. He’s been burned before and he doesn’t need the complications of a relationship. Too bad his latest hook-up wasn’t content to keep his mouth shut as he walked out the door. His advice to Trent has been sticking in the back of his mind since, making him wonder.

Aaron has lost himself after a series of devastating relationships. His guilt and self-image issues had him hiding away as his friends urged him to get help. At the urging of his therapist Aaron has just set foot in a gay bar for the first time in years (it’s been at least 10 years since his last relationship ended). He gets up the nerve to talk to the gorgeous man next to him, but when Trent makes his move Aaron turns him down, not realizing just how unprecedented his move was.

The two soon form a friendship and as Aaron continues to work through his issues with his therapist, he finds Trent to be a good listener and a supportive friend. Trent is also in uncharted waters, desperately wanting a relationship with Aaron, but enjoying their friendship. Of course, they can’t stop pushing the boundaries and wondering "what if" and it results in a super slow burn that suits the story perfectly.

Aaron’s past is unbelievably heartbreaking and what makes it more poignant, if you read the dedication, is that he is based on a real person. Trent is not without his issues either and when his 18 year old nephew Joe comes to him for help, it seems as if the same situation that drove him from his home at a teenager may just be playing out again, but he is determined to do anything he can to help.

The story may be lighter on the sex due to Aaron’s circumstances, but it is not light on the tension and romance. Trent may be the man with all the experience, but he adorably fumbles when trying to court Aaron and I was thrilled every time Aaron took another step forward toward accepting his self-worth and getting what he really wants from himself and from Trent.

You can easily read this as a standalone. Ric and Connor from [b:Trust Me|25689806|Trust Me (Lightning Tales #2)|K.C. Wells||45518168] do make an appearance, but this all Trent and Aaron’s story. As the series takes place in and around Orlando, Florida, K.C. Wells necessarily acknowledges the recent tragedy, but doesn’t make it a focus of the story. This was a sweet story that touched on some very serious issues, but the romance and character growth is what really drives it. Of course Trent and Aaron have their happy ending and I thought it fit very well with the rest of their story.

BTW - If you’re like me and your interest was piqued by the little tidbits dropped about the sweet and sexy bartender Kaden, you’ll be glad to know that his story will be next up in the series.