Love has a steep learning curve.
Assistant high school principal Blake Barnes has everything he wants—a chance to help troubled students and an outlet for his passion for theater. Well, almost everything—he still goes home to an empty apartment. Then his high school crush explodes back into his life, the unexpected guardian of two boys in Blake’s care.
Thane Dalton has always been a bad boy through and through. Not much has changed, including his mistrust of authority figures, and no amount of institutional bureaucracy will keep him from protecting his nephews from the bullies terrorizing them. If that means butting heads with Blake, so be it.
Blake and Thane have lessons to learn: that they both have the boys’ best interests at heart, that the tension between them isn’t just confrontational, and that sparks can fly when opposites come together.
Stage Two, the third book in the Lexington Lovers series by Ariel Tachna, is a contemporary, second chance M/M romance. High school assistant principal Blake Barnes is tasked with deciphering the truth regarding the bullying of tenth grade brothers Kit and Phillip. Little does he know that Thane Dalton, his high school crush, is their uncle and guardian. Blake and Thane connect through theater and the boys. But is it enough to sustain them, despite their differences?
Stage Two was a cute, if predictable, opposites-attract romance. Thane was the rough around the edges bad boy with a hair trigger temper and Blake was the level-headed artistic partner. I really enjoyed Blake and thought he brought a lot of emotional depth to the story. Thane came off as unrealistically hardened, while still being loving to Kit and Phillip. My biggest criticism is that they needed to work on their communication, but who doesn’t? Stage Two is well-written, funny, and touching. Solid read if you don’t want to think too hard.