Doran Callaghan doesn’t know when to fold ’em. His gambling has landed him in debt and in jail, and now it’s got him stuck in the sticks in a reintegration program. He wants to turn his life around, but old habits come knocking, and some creditors are harder to shake than others.
Xavier Wagner cares more about the National Park he works in than the people around it, until a stranger awakens desires he didn’t know he had. Doran’s natural submissiveness turns Xavier’s ideas of how to treat a lover upside down. But Doran doesn’t seem to know about boundaries — or even to have any — and Xavier’s not sure that Doran will say no if he needs to. Which means someone’s going to get hurt.
While Xavier struggles with his principles, Doran’s past comes calling. Trusting each other is suddenly a matter of life or death, but Doran has to decide whether counting on Xavier — or himself — is a gamble he’s willing to take.
First, I really liked When to Hold Them. It was a great addition to the Bluewater Bay series, which is fast becoming one of my favorite M/M Contemporary series. I have to admit though, if I had to rank my favorites out of all of the Bluewater Bay books so far, this one wouldn’t fall close to the top. My only reasoning though is because it was so far removed from the rest of the series. That’s not a bad thing though because out of all of the books so far, this one comes closer to a stand alone read than any of the others. Therefore, there’s no reason not to start here if you haven’t picked up any of the other books in the series yet. 😉
Xavier was one of the strongest characters yet and I really liked that about him. He was level headed and devoted to his job and his family. He had a very strong sense of who he was… until he met Doran.
Doran was the complete opposite, but he was trying. He needed direction and more than that he needed self esteem. He was given a chance to turn himself around and he didn’t want to blow it, but he needed some positive reinforcement. Xavier was just the person to give it to him, if he didn’t screw it up.
Xavier and Doran had a lot to learn about each other and themselves and even though their story was a rocky one, I still enjoyed their journey.
There weren’t a lot of supporting characters in When to Hold Them, but I loved Xavier’s parents, especially his dad. He had a great way of stating the obvious, which Xavier needed from time to time.
I’m not sure what’s next for the Bluewater Bay series, but I hope there’s more. As much as I love meeting new characters and finding out what’s going on outside of the Wolf’s Landing cast and crew, I still enjoy catching up with previous characters.