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Nash is the reliable one in the Holly family, the guy everyone counts on to keep things going. His genius twin brother is off at university, so Nash runs the family’s auto repair business and cares for his partially-paralyzed little sister while his crackpot father invents. His life seems mapped out for the foreseeable future, however much that might chafe.
So when Wolf’s Landing actor Spencer Kepler-Constantine lands in his life, Nash is ready for a diversion. Spencer is in the middle of a very painful, very public divorce and isn’t ready for a relationship—not that Nash wants one. But they both need a friend, especially one with benefits.
As they grow closer, Nash starts to see his family in a whole new light. Do they really need him so badly? Or does he simply need to be needed? Then Spencer’s ex reappears with a grand romantic gesture, and Nash has to figure out what he wants—and how to get it—before Spencer’s gone for good.
**minor spoilers in review**
Z.A. Maxfield’s ability to create characters that are not just cookie-cutter is what makes me return to her current stories over and over again. In this third installment of the Bluewater Bay series, her writing in Nash brought the satisfaction for me almost single handedly and it was totally easy to love this story for him alone.
Nash is the constant in his family – the rock, the reliable one. His father is quite an inventor, but easily distracted. His smart twin brother is the one leaving to further his studies. And there is his younger paraplegic sister that Nash feels also responsible for. So Nash is the one who stays and takes care of his family. Being needed by his family is what keeps Nash going, that keeps him striving. He is perceptive to other people’s problems too. So when he stumbles upon Spencer Kepler-Constantine, the recurring actor from Wolf’s Landing who is in the middle of a very public divorce, Nash can see that Spencer needs a friend to help him through.
Like I said, I loved Nash SO MUCH – the way he took care of his family, the way he was able to be the one that Spencer needed. I wish I could write a better description about Nash, but Maxfield herself has written it for me…
“You’re the drums in your family. You’d be the drums in anyone’s life. I hear it when I’m with you, strong and steady. Like the beat of a very warm heart.”
I did find issues with Spencer. At times I felt like he was too stoic and refused to get angry for what Peter did to him and let his-ex walk all over him. Which was why one of my highlights was when Spencer finally lost his cool and ‘murdered’ that Scarecrow Sam *laugh*. I guess, in that sense, Nash made Spencer more alive on page … and without Nash, Spencer was rather bland.
I still didn’t like Peter, by the way, no matter what kind of arrangement Spencer and he had in their relationship. Peter had different values than my own, I respect that. But he still didn’t take time to carefully explain to Spencer before he ended up knocking up a woman and walked out of his marriage.
Another thing that I love about Maxfield’s stories is she also doesn’t just focus on the romance of the two main characters. There are always side-stories, often with family members, that accompany the romance. And I LOVE that … I love reading about these characters and their families. In this story, Maxfield gave readers Nash’s father and siblings along with Spencer’s bodyguard and personal assistant. I loved being with them because they shaped up Nash and Spencer as well and I enjoyed knowing more about them from their interactions with these people.
I wasn’t that much impressed with Shelby (Nash’s sister) though. I thought it was a bit insensitive for her to root for the Speeter ship (that was Spencer and Peter) when she knew that her brother actually liked Spencer. She also didn’t really show enough maturity and independence that made me believe that she won that argument to study in Spain. In fact, the way that she demanded this from the family just showed that she wanted to just run away from her problems.
So despite my issues with some of the characters, I still found Hell on Wheels quite a charming romance. Which means, I got another winner from Maxfield right here.
The books in the Bluewater Bay are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire. However, each book in this universe each stand alone and may be read in any order. Read Boys in Our Books reviews of the previous publications in this series: Starstruck by L.A. Witt (reviewed by Sheri) and There’s Something About Ari by L.B. Gregg (reviewed by Susan)