Author: Anne Tenino
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 318 Pages
At a Glance: This is a great journey back to the world of Bluewater Bay – the more I read of this small town the more I want to visit someday!
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: Lucas Wilder’s best friend is a traitor. First, Audrey moved back to their hick-infested hometown, Bluewater Bay, and now she’s marrying a local. His own brother, in fact. And as her man of honor, Lucas gets coerced into returning for an extended stay. Although, between his unfaithful ex-boyfriend and his artist’s block, going home isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Even if the best man is Gabriel Savage, Lucas’s first crush, first hookup, and first heartbreak.
The only reason Gabe hasn’t been waiting for Lucas to return to Bluewater Bay is because he never thought it’d happen. Not that it matters now that Lucas is back—Gabe’s still a logger who’s never been anywhere (Canada doesn’t count), and Lucas is now a famous sculptor who’s been everywhere twice. Plus, there’s that shared past.
When Audrey asks Lucas to make her wedding favors, the only place to set up a kiln is at Gabe’s tree farm. Soon, they pick up where they left off twelve years before, then blow past it, discovering why neither of them forgot the other. Now they have to choose how much of their history they’ll repeat, and what future they’ll make together.
Review: Bluewater Bay: a small logging community in Northwestern Washington State, with a history of being sleepy, backwoods, and quaint. At the beginning of the Bluewater Bay series, this fictional small town is overrun by a new television series about shifters called Wolf’s Landing. This small town has been the same for a hundred years but is suddenly awash with Hollywood – people, cars, stars, and business. The first few books let us meet some of these stars and the men they choose as partners. The last few books have moved away from the TV show angle, and we are getting a chance to meet some of the local people who have called this town home their entire lives. The great thing about this series is that each book is written by one of eleven award winning, popular LGBTQ authors, each giving you new viewpoints and stories with fresh perspectives.
Anne Tenino’s Wedding Favors is about Lucas Wilder, an artist who grew up in Bluewater Bay and, of course, couldn’t wait to leave after high school. The thing he did keep from his hometown is his best friend Audrey. Audrey is wonderful and a genuine friend – someone who supports Lucas in everything he does or tries, even if she doesn’t agree with it. We all need an Audrey in our lives.
Lucas is a little self-absorbed. And that’s putting it mildly. He also has precious few people who understand him – who see him for who he really is underneath the persona he has crafted for the outside world. Lucas is an artist and has a tendency to get lost in his head, thinking about his sculptures or just second guessing everything about himself. If he had to count the people he thought truly knew him, he would say just one – his best friend Audrey; not family or even his husband of several years, whom he is divorcing. And now, Audrey is getting married – to his brother of all people – and opening a dress shop in Bluewater Bay. Of course, he has to go back. He has to support Audrey and his brother and be the Man of Honor – which leaves his brother to choose Gabriel Savage as his best man. Little does Lucas know, but Gabe knows the real Lucas too. Being his brother’s best friend let Gabe study and crush on Lucas for years. After an intense sexual encounter in high school, right after graduation, Gabe let Lucas go to be the star artist he knew he would be.
Gabriel Savage is tied to the land. He is descended from the original pioneering families who started this logging community, and would not live anywhere else. He is connected to it – loves it – breathes it. Gabe is determined to get Lucas to stay this time; he let the one man he has loved for twelve years get away last time, and he is determined it won’t happen again. When Audrey asks Lucas to create her wedding favors, Gabe offers his farm as a place for Lucas to create his sculptures and set up a studio.
Their lives begin to intertwine once more, and the journey is colorful, with great supporting characters who keep us entertained with witty dialogue that keeps the self-discovery Lucas must go through from being too heavy. Lucas reconnects with everyone in his life, from his family to his friends, and discovers that by embracing what he thought he would never want, he gets the best of both worlds – a great guy, a great workshop – a place to call home. This is a standalone book, all the Bluewater Bay stories are, but they all stay centered on this wonderful town and the people who live there.
Read them all, you won’t be disappointed!
You can buy Wedding Favors here: