This is the second installation in the Bend or Break series. We first meet Jack in book one. In that he is horrible. Just horrible. He bullies Tom to the point of making Tom's life miserable. This story starts with Jack coming back to the small town he grew up in after being suspended from school for his bullying. Once back he runs into his best friend and first love Mike. Mike is not at all happy to see Jack as Jack left without even saying good-bye.
As the story proceeds the two guys start tentatively talking and then slowly hanging out together. They each have resentments and we find as the story goes on that Jack was not totally the bad guy. Mike made some mistakes too. This story is a slow burn love story and also a tale of redemption and forgiveness. The author does not make things easy for Jack and we aren't expected to easily forgive him for his bullying. I thought the author really handled this subject well.
I enjoyed this book a lot and would very much recommend it. You do not have to read book one in the series to read this. This one can be read as a stand alone. I think you should read book one though as it was a fabulous book. Looking forward to the third book in this series also.
Humble pie wasn’t supposed to taste this sweet.
Bend or Break, Book 2
Jack Tarkington’s life is in the toilet. He was supposed to be spending his junior year studying someplace cool like Paris or Rome. Instead, after taking out his anger on the campus “golden boy”, whose dad ripped off his parents, Jack is facing possible expulsion.
Sure, it’s all his own fault, but coming back to the small Iowa town he thought he’d escaped, after crowing about his admission to a prestigious school, has been a humbling experience.
When he runs into Miguel, Jack braces for backlash over the way he lorded it over his old friend and flame. Instead, Miguel offers him friendship—and a job at his growing farm-to-table store and café.
Against the odds, both guys bond over broken dreams and find common ground in music. But when Jack’s college gives him a second chance, he’s torn between achieving a dream that will take him far from home, and a love that strikes a chord he’ll never find anywhere else.
Warning: This book contains a humbled guy who’s on the brink of losing it all, a determined entrepreneur who seems to have it all together, apologies issued through banjo-picking duets, and two lovers who can play each other’s bodies like virtuosos.