Book Reviews

High Noon in Sandbridge (Sandbridge 3) by Elizabeth L. Brooks and Lynn Townsend at JMS Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 12-September-2018

Book Blurb

Life is pretty good for Scooter and Andy Stahl-Howard these days. The restaurant is doing well and they’re happy with their little family.

Then Scooter’s sister meets an untimely end, and Scooter and Andy are suddenly guardians to a niece they’ve only met a handful of times. Their attempts to make a home for the bereaved child are complicated by Andy's mother, Scooter’s ex-lover, and the man who claims to be Billie’s father.

But whatever her parentage, Billie is a Stahl through and through -- stubborn and hot-tempered and not remotely interested in making a life in the one place her mother had sworn never to return. Will she ever learn to call Dockside and Sandbridge home?

Book Review

“There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” ~The Fifth Mountain, Paulo Coelho

When Scooter receives a call notifying him that his sister has died, his first concern is for her seven-year-old daughter, Billie. He has only met his niece a few times and now he's her legal guardian. Scooter and Andy rush down to take charge of the situation. Scooter, in particular, is worried because he has never taken care of a child before; particularly, a child who is bound to be traumatized after just losing her mother.

When they arrive, they are relieved to find out that his sister's best friend and the hospital staff have made arrangements for Billie's care. Scooter and Andy know that they are in uncharted territory, but they are together in this all the way, just like they are with everything else. They will be flying blind with Billie and have no idea what to expect. When they get there, they find a very angry, hurt child who, although she understands her mother is gone, does not want to leave their home. Andy, who is usually very low-key about his wealth, goes all out to get them back home by buying five first class seats; one for him, Scooter, Billie, and one for each of her guinea pigs. Billie is happy to have her pets with her and is fascinated with flying. When she gets to the airport, Billie has a meltdown and wants to go back home, even though she knows she can't do that.

She is welcomed with open arms by her new family in Sandbridge, but, since her mother hated it there, she convinced Billie that it's a horrible place to live. Scooter and Andy do everything they can do to convince her otherwise, including getting her a kitten, but Billie is slow to come around. It's one step forward and two back for a while. Billie has trouble adjusting at school because of her emotional state and the fact that she has the “Stahl temper” and easily loses it; this doesn't go well at school, but her principal is very understanding and tries to accommodate her moods. Just when things are starting to settle in, deciding Sandbridge isn't such a bad place, another upset comes into her life. An ex-boyfriend of her mother's appears to tell them that he has strong reason to believe that Billie is his daughter and has a court order to have a paternity test taken. Scooter and Andy are shocked and dismayed by this announcement; it doesn't help that they don't care for the man to begin with, but they have no choice but to comply. Andy tries to reassure Scooter that they will do whatever it takes to keep Billie with them, but Scooter is still beside himself with worry.

This is an emotional addition to Scooter and Andy's story. Adding a child, especially his sister's child, to their family is an unexpected and difficult event which Scooter and Andy face as they have everything else – together. More than one ghost from the past appears, adding stress and conflict to an already tense situation, yet, they handle these together as well. Billie is a handful, but after hearing about Scooter and his sister's dispositions, it's not a real surprise. Working out their relationships with Billie runs a gauntlet of emotions between poignant and happy, with quite a few stops in between. Even without childcare experience, it's no surprise to me that Scooter and Andy, being the loving people they are, win Billie over. Thanks, Elizabeth and Lynn, for a lovely story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by JMS Books for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 60870 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 04-August-2018
Price $5.99 ebook
Buy Link