Review: Rock Bay Bundle by M.J. O'Shea

Read all three stories of small town romance in this exclusive bundle of M.J. O'Shea's Rock Bay series!

In Coming Home, Tally has to pull out all the stops to prove to Lex, his gorgeous boss at the local coffee shop, he was never really the jerk he seemed to be. If he can win Lex’s heart, the rest of the town should be a piece of coffee cake. In Letting Go, can Mason learn to trust again and can Drew learn to let go of who he thinks he is? If not, a real connection is nothing but a pipe dream. In Finding Shelter, both Justin and Logan have come to town hoping to leave troubled pasts behind them. They are attracted to each other too, but Justin is wary. Will Logan’s love, faith, and stubbornness be enough for Justin to believe their love is worth fighting for?

I tell you, reading all of these stories back to back was not a good idea. They were all similar in the formula that was used to write them, and all with very similar characters. However, each of the stories are very sweet and romantic reads and if you want to read any of them I'd recommend this bundle, but perhaps avoid binge reading them in one go.

COMING HOME - 3.5 hearts

This was a cute story! 15 years ago Tally was the high school bully and his favourite victim was Lex. Lex now owns his own shop and is comfortable in the town of Rock Bay. When Tally comes back to Rock Bay broke and in need of work, Lex offers it to him. It’s obvious to Lex that Tally has changed from the bully he used to be. However while Lex’s still insanely attracted to Tally, he resists starting up a relationship to protect himself from getting hurt again.

Lex and Tally both felt a little too perfect. Both were hard-working nice people who were seen in the wrong light (or not seen at all). Even Tally, who I thought would have a pretty cool backstory because he was so mean in high school, was secretly a very nice person back then. His family's position within the town and the pressure they placed on him made him ‘act’ the bully.

These two were incredibly sweet together and I enjoyed the fluffiness of it all. The sex was hot and I liked seeing Lex get all needy when he was bottoming. The build-up to their relationship was fun to read about and the sexual tension was done really well.

The big drama at the end was good, it didn’t feel convoluted and wasn’t some misunderstanding, however it did drag on much longer than it should have. The whole time Lex and Tally were fighting, Lex knew he still loved Tally and that he would forgive him, but for some reason he didn’t tell Tally this for weeks….. Tally made it clear he was sorry and lived in near depression for weeks, for no reason! I don’t know, it just got a tad annoying and felt unnecessary.

Also there was no epilogue, everything was left feeling very unfinished. In that sense I’m glad I’m reading this in the bundle, because I’ll get to see more of these two happy together.

LETTING GO - 3 hearts

I think this could have possibly been a 4 heart read if I had read it as a standalone, but reading it straight on the back of Coming Home, definitely deducted some points.

Drew has been in Rock Bay all his life and has been friends with the bully of the town, Brock, since high school. Drew is a self-employed accountant and most of his clients are friends with Brock, therefore Drew doesn’t feel comfortable getting on Brock's bad side.Therefore he avoids coming out as gay. That is until he meets Mason. Drew feels an instant connection and just knows he's found his reason to come out. Mason just moved from Seattle to escape a controlling ex-boyfriend and is looking for some time to himself when he meets Drew.

The first 10 chapters is virtually an overlap of Coming Home just from Drew and Mason’s POV. Needless to say I found this quite tedious due to the fact that I was reading them back to back. If someone was to read this as a stand alone I think this part of the story would be relevant and interesting, but to me it just wasn’t. I skimmed most of the first part of the book and unfortunately that left me feeling less of a connection to Mason and Drew than I did to Lex and Tally.

However Mason and Drew are probably the most ridiculously sweet couple ever. Drew is a gay virgin and is so awkward and shy around Mason I just wanted to smoosh his cheeks together. These two have the most fumbling conversations when they first meet. Mason has been burned a lot by past boyfriends, so he’s hesitant to trust his first impressions of a guy, but he is so stunned by Drew’s sweet nature he finds himself floundering.

The sex was pretty hot, seeing big Drew lose his gay virginity was good fun!

When the drama at the end happened, I was rolling my eyes with how ridiculous it all was. I won’t even go into, it was just a big ol’ misunderstanding. Luckily the boys came to their senses and it actually resolved very quickly with no more unnecessary drama.

Once again, no epilogue. I don’t know why this author doesn’t write them, it just leaves me feeling so unfinished with the couple.

FINDING SHELTER - 3.5 hearts

I think this was my favourite story out of the three.

Justin is nineteen and has been verbally and physically abused by his father for the majority of his life. When an opportunity presents itself to escape, Justin takes it and runs to Rock Bay where his cousin Travis lives. There Justin gets a job at Lex and Tally’s coffee shop, and has an instant attraction to Logan. Logan moved to Rock Bay a few months prior to recover from a sudden breakup with his long-time girlfriend. When Logan sees Justin it's instant attraction and he finds them becoming fast friends as he helps Justin move on from his past.

I really liked Justin's story, it was refreshingly interesting in comparison to the previous stories. Justin's pain was heart breaking and his healing was done well over a period of months. It felt realistic seeing him tentatively trust the new people in his life, then start to relax into touches with Travis and Logan, slowly but surely.

Logan was sweet and understanding and really just a big snuggly teddy bear. He has an instant attraction to Justin despite never having thought of another man in any sort of sexual or romantic way before. It was nice not seeing any trace of concern or homophobia in Logan as he came to terms with being bisexual. I use the phrase ‘came to terms’ very lightly there, Logan saw Justin and was immediately ‘to terms’ with with being bisexual.

It took a tad too long for Justin and Logan to get together for my liking, but once they were together it was all pretty much smooth sailing. There was a smidgen of drama at the end, but it was resolved before it became anything too angsty.

(Not even going to mention the lack of epilogue *glares at book*)

Despite the seriousness of Justin's past, this was actually a very angst free book and I found it quite an easy enjoyable read.

All the stories just got a little repetitive for my liking when reading them all together, but reading them individually would work well. I would recommend this bundle for some fluffy reads and great value for money.

Check out on: 

Dreamspinner Press


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