Review: You're Always in the Last Place You Look by T.N. Gates

Gabriel is solitary by design, not by choosing. He has a few friends—okay, one real friend and his roping partner. But being the town pastor’s son isn’t easy. Not to mention he’s sure he was born askew, without the ability to experience life the way others seem to. It is the only explanation he has for why he isn’t like everyone else.

However, when he rescues Zane, a misplaced city boy dressed in tattoos and leather, from a killer bumblebee, he experiences more than he expects.

Zane shows Gabriel that sometimes the path you’ve chosen isn’t set in stone, and more times than not, you’ll find yourself in the last place you look.

It's been a while since I've written an actual review so I hope I can do this book justice. T.N. Gates (Tara Spears) is new to me but I'll definitely be looking for more from this author.

First, a disclosure: This book needs another round of editing. If errors are a pet peeve for you, then this book is going to set you off. I was able to skip past the to/too, there/they're, errors very easily and because I loved the story so much I'm not going to lower my rating because of them. I do feel it’s worth mentioning though, if only as a forewarning.

The cover of this book caught my attention and after reading the blurb it was full speed ahead. The story grabbed me page one and kept me glued until the end. I was so excited to finally have found a “WOW” book that I wanted to tell everyone right away. But I didn't for fear of jinxing it. So I kept the gushing to myself and kept devouring this story. By a third of the way through, I wanted to start recommending this book to friends. However, fearing it would head south at any given time, I waited and instead compiled a list in my head. With every chapter I fell more and more in love with this book, the characters and the writing. Needless to say the book never floundered. I think I’ve found a new DIK (Desert Island Keeper) and my friends are about to get a new recommendation from me.

This story is about two young guys who are total opposites. Zane, the city boy, is gay and has known it for years but a tragedy has forced him to retreat into himself. Gabe, the preacher’s son, is a country boy and hasn’t figured anything out yet. Over the years he becomes invisible to all but a few select people. Both MCs are simply, existing. This story is how they meet and teach each other to live again.

I guess I would label this book as YA or NA. Both MCs are over 18 but are still seniors in high school. It’s not without sex but the sex is not explicit. It's written so you know what they're doing but not in graphic detail. It’s well done and what I would call perfect for a romance like this one.

I absolutely love a book that has you laughing out loud one minute and ugly crying the next and boy did this one deliver repeatedly. It also has several fantastic, swoon-worthy lines like this one:
“One kiss, that’s all I will ever take from you. I’ll honor whatever decision you come to after that.” His words floated on the air before finding purchase inside my head. “Gabriel, gift your first kiss to me. I know how precious it is, and I want it as mine.”
And this one:
“A guy who is kind, and gentle, and incredibly sweet, without even trying. One who gives everything without thinking or asking anything in return. A boy who hid who he was, and no one seemed to see, despite those traits. I saw you though...and when I’m around you, all those things that you are soak into me, and I don’t feel so empty or alone.”

Again, this book is not perfect, but damn if I didn’t love EVERY. FREAKING. WORD! If you love a good YA/NA, coming-of-age story, this book is for you. If you love a great romance, this one is phenomenal. I don’t want to spoil this book by saying too much so I’m just going to recommend downloading the sample and giving this one a try.

Find more info at Goodreads


  1. Fantastic review Justin. I'm pretty sure this book has me written all over it!

    1. Thank you, Lori! I'm positive you'd love this book.

  2. Ahhh, I think I love you Justin! What a sweet review, thank you! And I am so glad you liked my book. Now I am off to fire my editor...well, not really, but maybe.

    1. *squee* Thank you, Tara! I LOVED this book! OK, I guess by now you know that already....but I don't mind saying it again. :-)Please don't fire anyone on my account. As you can surely tell from my review I'm no English major.
      *cough, cough* If there's a book two, I'd be first in line to reserve a copy.

    2. *grin* Hate to disappoint. It will be next year before a sequel comes into play...At least I think (things could change). I have two other books that need my attention first. I won't fire the editor but I will be going through it again. Trying to cut corners never works...drat! Again thank you! I love when people love my books--but then who doesn't?

    3. I'll be on the lookout for all new T.N. Gates and Tara Spears books. Best of luck, Tara!