Series: Roadmap to Your Heart #3
Lee trades country ballads for show tunes in the next standalone book of her Roadmap to Your Heart series.
After licking his wounds from a painful relationship, Tate Sullivan is ready to move back home. He picks up where he left off as drag queen extraordinaire Frieda Love in a West Village bar in New York City. He doesn’t expect to be drawn to the mysterious man with the dark eyes who shows up to every single performance—flirtatiously eyeing Tate one second and disappearing on him the next. Why mess around with a guy who is clearly giving him mixed signals?
Sebastian Clark is on a mission the first night he shows up at Ruby Redd’s. He doesn’t anticipate his plan being flipped on its head by the charismatic drag queen and even more so by the mesmerizing man beneath the makeup. But the more he learns about the vibrant and brash Tate Sullivan the more intrigued he becomes. So he pushes aside his guilt about why he sought out the bar in the first place in order to get to know the guy behind the stilettos.
They’re opposites on many levels, but as Tate spends time volunteering with Sebastian at the shelter, he begins to feel good about himself in ways he hadn’t before. For Sebastian, Tate represents a sense of fun and freedom that is completely fresh and invigorating. Before they know it, their easy companionship catches fire, and Sebastian is kissing a man for the first time, while Tate is opening his heart to new possibilities. But Sebastian is still keeping a secret, and Tate will have to decide if he can trust again, or if the betrayal he feels from Sebastian’s confession is too much to overcome.
One of the reasons I love reading romance is to watch two people fall in love. Not just any two people though. I have to like them and feel connected to them, and I thought Christina Lee did this really well in The Hardest Fall.
As the story is flushed out in the first quarter or so, it was easy for me to get to know both Sebastian and Tate. I liked them right away; Sebastian’s quiet and contemplative nature is well balanced by Tate’s youthful and carefree outlook. As the story continued each character progressed in a way that didn’t feel forced or in response to the plot. It felt natural and believable.
Their love story was also really charming. It was full of those little quirks that make their romance unique yet relatable. I’m not really even sure how else to describe it other than to say it simply made me feel good. It was sweet and heartwarming and I felt hopeful for the LGBTQ community in a time full of animosity.
I might argue though that the overall story was a little lopsided. There was a lot of character development and plotting up front. And, yeah, I loved that. But, the story didn’t feel as flushed out or developed at the end. I needed a little more character introspection to go along with the drama and I never got it. However, there were some really endearing and loveable scenes that I think were meant to replace that introspection that I absolutely adored. So, six in one hand half dozen in the other I suppose.
I think that open minded readers will love this m/m story for the colorful and diverse characters and sweet love story. I definitely recommend it and look forward to more from Christina.