Title: Facing West Word Count: 300 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
I left my family and tiny Texas hometown fifteen years ago to escape small-town gossips and to give my mom and sister the chance at a better life. But when a phone call from an attorney back home informs me that my sister passed away, leaving me custody of her newborn baby, I’m shocked out of the steady life I’ve built for myself running a tattoo shop in San Francisco.
The thing is: I don’t do babies. And I don’t do small towns. Or commitment. And I especially don’t do family. My plan is to go back to Hobie just long enough to sign adoption papers, giving my niece the kind of stable, loving family I could never provide.
But the moment I meet my niece in the arms of Weston Wilde, my sister’s best friend and the town’s handsome doctor, my plans begin to change. Because suddenly, I see a different future. One with the very thing I thought I never deserved: a family. If only I can convince West that I’m not the same good-for-nothing kid ready to bolt when things get tough.
There’s one thing I know for sure about Nico Salerno: he was a good-for-nothing as a kid and judging by the purple-haired, tattoo’d punk who shows up at his sister’s funeral, he hasn’t changed. There’s no way I’m letting him take custody of my best friend’s baby.
But the more time I spend around him, the more I realize that his rough exterior is just a shell and that beneath all the tattoos is a scared, insecure man searching for a place to belong. And pretty soon I know exactly where he belongs: in my bed and by my side.
The problem is, he abandoned his family once before, how do I know that if we become a family he won’t do it again?
Facing West is the first in the new Forever Wilde series about the huge Wilde family from Hobie, Texas, whose patriarchs aren’t above a little meddling if that’s what it takes to help their grandkids find true love.
My Review: Nico Salerno has his own life far away from the small town of Hobie, Texas. He owns his tattoo shop and has been making his own way for the last 15 years without any contact from his family. Colour him shocked when he gets a phone call from a lawyer saying his sister has died and he needs to settle her affairs. He is heartbroken for a sister he believed hated him. There are a lot of feelings swirling around inside of him, at the very top being anger at the town and at the people he believed hated and resented him for being gay and abandoning his family.
Resentment is strongest coming from the esteemed Dr. Weston Wilde, his sister Adriana’s best friend. West sees a tattooed punk who only cares about himself and abandoned his family. He is worried that the same fate is about to happen to the precious 4 month old Pippa, Nico’s niece. Nico states clearly that he knows nothing about babies. From the very beginning, there is tension between Nico and West. West has his preconceived notions about Nico and Nico hates the fact that West judges him unfairly without knowing his story.
It soon becomes apparent that the two are attracted to each other. West doesn’t want to want this man who he knows is itching to leave everything and everybody from their small town. After witnessing Nico in confrontation with the closeted town sheriff Curt who is also his step brother , West goes to check on him. What he finds is a broken-hearted Nico who cries for his sister and his mother who he’s only learnt recently passed away years ago. Nico is faced with many regrets from his past. There is a tender moment between Nico and West when West offers him comfort and dulls his loneliness for just a moment.
Once West sees this side of Nico, all his protective instincts come to the surface and the attraction he held at bay can no longer be curtailed. When he decides to go after what he wants, Nico responds favorably to his dominance. Their night is filled with intense passion with moments of vulnerability on both their parts. They both realize that the journey they are about to embark on is not only about sex. With Pippa involved and both of them invested in her, things get real pretty fast.
They both realize that they make a good team and a familial bond is definitely being formed between them and Pippa. Nico starts reconciling the sister he knew with the one that West describes. He starts to realize that his sister apparently grew up and was respected by many in their small town. He regrets missing out on the relationship that could have been. This realization makes it even harder to think about leaving Pippa to be adopted by strangers. Their comfortable domesticity soon comes to a halt when disturbing information about Pippa’s father comes to light.
West is the father, at least that’s what the birth certificate states. Nico is shattered when he hears the news and doesn’t even allow West to plead his case. West is clueless as to why he is listed as Pippa’s father. He can only speculate as to why his best friend Adrianna would do that. He just wants to make it clear to the man he’s falling for that he never slept with his sister.
Nico does what he does best, he runs. It becomes hard for Nico to acclimate to his past life. He has been back for weeks , but his whole life feels so empty until West shows up at his tattoo shop. West claims his man in front of his friends. He expresses his love for Nico and for the first time Nico feels like he belongs. Nico goes back home to his small town Hobie, a place he now realize has always been in his blood. They know they will face challenges, but with the help of the Wildes, they will make it. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.