Two men with a shared history and a mutual attraction must be honest with themselves and each other so both their dreams come true.
Quiet, unassuming Tanner Sellers spends his time running a diner in Hope, Arizona. Not particularly social, twenty-two-year-old Tanner keeps to himself and enjoys his simple life, but he longs for someone to call his own. In his most secret fantasy, that someone is sexy Steve Faus. But Steve is his friend’s father and mentor’s widower and therefore off-limits.
Despite some challenges, thirty-nine-year-old Steve Faus has had a good life. He’s extremely successful at work, has a great relationship with his college-age son, and lives in a wonderful town. Eighteen months after losing his partner, the one thing Steve lacks is someone to share his life. If Steve is honest with himself, that someone is the young man he has known and cared about for years. Steve and Tanner want one another, all they need is a little push in the right direction to make both their dreams come true.
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Cardeno C. has quickly become one of my favorite M/M romance authors. Jesse's Diner is the perfect example of why this is so. Even though this is a relatively quick read, it packs a good, full story and a nice bit of emotion into its pages. And let's not forget the wonderful characters, who really are the ones that make this story what it is.
Tanner is fantastic. I liked listening in to his thoughts, and loved seeing how he basically laid himself bare to Steve in his conversations, it really shows how comfortable Tanner is with Steve, even if Tanner is embarrassed by his longtime crush on the man. Tanner's innocence shines, which makes his character come across as sweet and curious.
Steve is also a great character, and as things unfold and his and Tanner's relationship takes shape, it's touching to see him guide Tanner with such care and love. Steve is just as susceptible to revealing himself with Tanner as Tanner is with him, and the two of them together just seem to fit perfectly--regardless of their age difference. There's also some personal background with Steve that adds seriousness to their mostly lighthearted romance, and serves as a reminder that actions have consequences.
Their story is sweet with a touch of spice and some nice shots of humor, and though it feels like things happen quickly due to the short length of the book, events actually happen over time in the story itself--this plus the fact that both men had cared for each other for quite some time make their relationship feel natural and genuine. While I personally would have loved to have a longer book as well as a more defined ending (or an epilogue), the story was still quite satisfying for something that I read in just a couple of hours.
I'm going to hold out hope that the author will revisit these characters later in the series as I truly enjoyed reading their story and would love to hear more about them...which for me is a sign of a really good book since the author has me wanting more.
4.5 stars for Jesse's Diner, which I highly recommend to fans of the M/M romance genre (18+ for the M/M sexual content).
Cardeno C. - CC to friends - is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few "awwws" into a reader's day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno's stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever- after sunset.
Cardeno's Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, "You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day."
EBook of choice from author's backlist (excluding box sets and anthologies)