“But what does it mean? Was it the ending to something that started a long time ago or was it an invitation to a beginning?”
Title: The Hideaway Inn
Author: Philip William Stover
Series: Seasons of New Hope, #1
Length: approx. 64,000 words / 288 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Imprint: Carina Press (Carina Adores)
On-Sale: May 26, 2020
Format: Trade Paperback
Price: $14.99 U.S.
High school wasn’t the right time or place for their relationship to grow, but now, fifteen years later, a chance encounter changes both of their lives forever.
No one in the charming river town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, needs to know that Vince Amato plans on flipping The Hideaway Inn to the highest bidder and returning to his luxury lifestyle in New York City. He needs to make his last remaining investment turn a profit…even if that means temporarily relocating to the quirky small town where he endured growing up. He’s spent years reinventing himself and won’t let his past dictate his future.
But on his way to New Hope, Vince gets stuck in the middle of nowhere and his past might be the only thing that can get him to his future. Specifically Tack O’Leary, the gorgeous, easygoing farm boy who broke his heart and who picks Vince up in his dilapidated truck.
Tack comes to the rescue not only with a ride but also by signing on to be the chef at The Hideaway for the summer. As Vince and Tack open their hearts to each other again, Vince learns that being true to himself doesn’t mean shutting down a second chance with Tack—it means starting over and letting love in.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
About the Author
Philip William Stover splits his time between Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and New York City. He has an MFA in writing and is a clinical professor at New York University where he is the former chair of the writing curriculum. As a freelance journalist, his essays and reviews have appeared in Newsday, The Forward, The Tony Awards, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and other national publications.
Philip grew up tearing the covers off the romance novels he devoured so he wouldn’t get teased at school. Now he enjoys traveling the world with his husband of over twenty years and sitting in front of the woodstove with their half-Bassett, half-Sharpei rescue pup and he would never consider defacing any of the books he loves.
He is thrilled to be returning to romance and loves to write cozy, warm-hearted stories served by hairy forearms with a side of fries. He can be found on social media as Philip William Stover.
Much thanks to Stephanie from Carina Press for sending me a copy for review and for inviting me to be a part of this tour. This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own. Also, all quotes are taken from the ARC and may or may not appear in the final published copy.
📚 Series? Yes. Book 1 of Seasons Of New Hope.
📚 Genre? LGBT Contemporary.
📚 POV? Dual POV.
📚 Cliffhanger? No.
⚠ Content Warnings: Homophobia. Use of a slur (addressed in author’s note). Bullying. Lots and lots of sexual content.
⚠ Book Tags : Gay main character. Bisexual main character. Non binary rep. Trans rep. Second chance romance. Small town. Forced proximity.
⚠ This Book In Emojis: 👨🍳👨💼🌈🏡🚎👨👩👦👨👨👦🍽📚
The book is about:
The Hideaway Inn tells the story of Vince Amato, who comes back to his hometown, New Hope, after a drastic self and image transformation. He reinvented himself and is now a success but has to go back and flip an old hotel/restaurant after doing some questionable career decisions. On his journey back, he meets Tack, an old ‘friend’ aka the guy who unknowingly broke his heart in highschool.
What drew me in:
I have been struggling with reading books and have been relying on audiobooks to get my fix of stories. But, when I picked this one up, I was excited and the pages kept on flying for some reason.
The author is new to me and I don’t normally see #ownvoices M/M books, too. I love how Carina Adores allow stories like this to be told by people who actually experienced this stories and are most equipped to tell them.
Characters & connections:
I loved both of our main characters and their dynamic. Some people, based on some reviews I have read, disliked Vince and the way he handled the situation.
However, in my opinion, Vince has the right to feel what he wants to feel and no one can really blame him if that is how hurt he was about the things that happened.
On the other hand, I love how Tack matured and how the author portrayed him as a father. I loved his side of the story more, because seeing his thought processes was a sweet and touching experience.
My favorite character is Jules and I love all the scenes that they were in. The other side characters also made this story more fun… though I wish the author shed a little more light on Evie and the dynamics of here relationship with both Tack and Vince.
Everything I liked:
This author, Philip William Stover has a very readable writing style. I enjoyed the humor and the flow of the story through his word weaving. I liked the banter between the characters and there were really funny parts that made me smile.
I also liked the premise of the story. I am a sucker for a little hate-to-love, and the story even mixed in the forced proximity trope.
Another thing I liked here is the sexual tension. This author mastered the teasing and anticipation, and I was actually not expecting that this read will rank high on the steamy scale.
Finally, the last thing that I liked was how this book educated me. It was refreshing to see many scenes on various aspects of the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Personally having no idea on most of their struggles, this book made me see a glimpse of a person’s experience and their thoughts on these things.
Overall, I enjoyed this read and I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series. I am curious on who’s story will be next.
My Book Rating Breakdown
🌼 Main Character:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Significant Other: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Romance: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Pacing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
☁ FINAL VERDICT: 4.18 /5 ☁
That summer Vinny would come by and see me almost every day, usually with a new book. I loved hearing him talk. He described the spiritual journey of Siddhartha, the complicated plot of King Lear and even read some of James Baldwin’s poems to me that were so riveting I almost hammered my finger to a post. At school I was in a class called “Reading Foundations” and even I was smart enough to know it was for kids who were barely passing. I never felt dumb around Vinny. He treated me like I was just as smart as he was and after hanging out with him for a few weeks, I started to believe it.
Being alone with Vinny was easy. We were so different but also had so much in common. My mom died when I was a kid and he never knew his father. I never talked to anyone about not really having many memories of her and wanting more. He only had a single picture of his dad and never wanted to know more. We fit like opposite pieces of a puzzle that click when joined. Being alone together at the edge of the farm felt like freedom. But when the fence was done and school started, the world shifted back to where it was and whatever we had evaporated.
A small-town high school is a network of territories with strict borders. Vinny didn’t belong anywhere and it made his life miserable but it made me admire him more because he didn’t need to. He did what he wanted, how he wanted to do it.
My life felt like an endless list of obligations. I followed some script then and I don’t even know why or where it came from. I had to place at the meets, have the hottest girlfriend, drink like an animal at parties on the weekends. These things were expected of me or I expected them of myself. At the time I couldn’t tell the difference. I couldn’t imagine a life being anything other than the one that was already attached to me, but meeting Vinny put a crack in that heavy iron chain.
Once school started, Evie came back from her summer job down the shore, football practice began and chores on the farm took over my life. At least, that’s what I told myself. I couldn’t find a way to make Vinny part of my life beyond that summer without making my entire world explode. I ignored him at school, pretty much, even though alone in bed at night I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I kept those worlds separate because they seemed to be in completely different orbits. It was a shitty thing to do. I know it now and I even knew it then.
I left The Hideaway mad as hell at Vinny—or rather Vince—for the way he treated me in the kitchen, but the truth is I deserve everything he said to me and more. How could I ever get him to understand the choices I made back then and why I made them? How could I explain to him how hard I have worked to undo everything I did back then? Then I remember how I already started on the wrong foot. He asked about Evie and I went all mysterious and vague. I should have told him we got divorced. I should have told him that we still co-parent a wonderful, funny six-year-old. I should definitely have told him that I finally came out as bi. But picking him up on the side of the road was such a confusing surprise that my brain wasn’t functioning at full capacity.
Copyright © 2020 by Iron Bridge Creative
Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.
A new Carina Adores title is available each month:
- The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron (available May 26, 2020)
- Just Like That by Cole McCade (available June 30, 2020)
- Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters (available July 28, 2020
- Better Than People by Roan Parrish (available August 25, 2020)
- Full Moon in Leo by Brooklyn Ray (available September 29, 2020)
- If You Can’t Stand the Heat by KD Fisher (available October 27, 2020)
- Just Like Us by Cole McCade (available November 24, 2020)
♡ Yna the Mood Reader ♡