Tattoo artist Seth Wheeler thinks he’s struck gold when Darren Romero rents the apartment across the hall. The new guy is gorgeous, witty, and single, plus he’s just the right blend of bold and flirtatious. Perfect.
Except then Darren reveals that he moved to Tucker Springs to take a job as the youth pastor at the New Light Church. Seth is not only an atheist, but was thrown out by his ultra-religious family when he came out. He tends to avoid believers, not out of judgment but out of self-preservation.
But Darren doesn’t give up easily, and he steadily chips away at Seth’s defenses. Darren is everything Seth wants in a man . . . except for that one massive detail he just can’t overlook. Is Darren’s religion the real problem, or is it just a convenient smokescreen to keep him from facing deeper fears? It’s either see the light, or risk pushing Darren away forever.
Well, I made my way back to Tucker Springs. Should be no surprise. It was pretty much inevitable. I’m guessing that as long as these authors keep writing about these guys, I’ll have to keep reading about them. Covet thy Neighbor was a bit more than I expected, but in a very good way.
I liked Seth from the moment I met him. He just seemed like someone I would like to know. The best part was that the more I learned about him, the more I liked him. That’s not saying that I didn’t want to reach into my Kindle and smack him on the side of his head more than once. I feel that way about my kids all the time… it doesn’t mean I don’t love them though. 😉
Darren was a little bit of a mystery in the beginning and having his brother with him when he was first introduced didn’t help. You could tell that there was plenty of tension and a lot of things left unsaid. The more I read, the more I not only liked, but really respected Darren. He was caring and patient and full of surprises.
Both characters had hidden scars and buried pain and they both dealt with it in different ways. Their pasts played a big part in shaping who they were and religion played a big role in both their lives. Seth abandoned his faith and Darren embraced his. Both had important people in their lives turn their backs on them. Darren was luckier where his family was concerned than Seth was, but it didn’t make Darren’s experience any less painful. I think what made this book so poignant for me was not only the religious factor, but the family factor. I know it happens. I’ve actually seen it happen, though not under these specific circumstances. I just can’t fathom how a parent or any other family member can treat their children the way that not just one, but several of the characters were treated in Covet thy Neighbor. A parent’s love is supposed to be unconditional, plain and simple. Speaking as a parent, you don’t have to love what your child has done or a decision that they have made or who they have decided to spend their lives with. How exactly does one of those scenarios make you disown them and stop loving them? I also don’t understand how you can call yourself a Christian and be so filled with hate that….. okay, I’ll get off the soapbox now. Let’s just say that I love it when a book makes me feel strongly one way or the other and Covet thy Neighbor definitely delivered on that front – in a very big way.
The only complaint that I have about Covet thy Neighbor is that once things were resolved, the book was over. Not that that is a bad thing, it’s just that I wanted more. It didn’t end abruptly, it’s just that the characters had been through a lot and I wanted to relish in the conclusion with them a little bit longer. Selfish, I know… *sigh* On the plus side, I was given just enough of a glimpse of Jason and Michael to make me want to pick up Where Nerves End, the first book in the series, just so I can get to know them better. That one was also written by L.A. Witt and since I’m pretty sure that Seth was introduced in the first book, I may have to track it down before I read book 5.
The next book in the Tucker Springs series is Never a Hero and it’s written by Marie Sexton. It’s already ready and waiting on my kindle and I’m sure it’s not going to be long before I pick it up. One thing that I really like about this series is that even though the titles are switched between different authors, the style and feel of each book stays true to the series.