Flare (Style #1) by Jay Hogan

Feisty fashion designer meets romantic poetry professor in a sweet slow build to love. Can two men juggle careers, family, friends, and navigate their past personal histories to come out on top and together in love?

From the FLARE blurb:

My own fashion label. The shiny new sign above the door means everything. My dream. My life. Worth every gruelling hour I’ve spent making it happen. Nothing can stop me now. Not the fear. Not the nightmares. Not my sad excuse for a love life. And certainly not Beckett Northcott, the sexy English professor who wouldn’t know a fitted shirt if it slapped him in the face and who has flannel down to an art form.

I don’t date for a very good reason, and yet Beck makes me want to break every damn one of my rules. But with my debut at Fashion Week looming, my business in trouble, and Beckett Northcott peeling open my terrified heart to a future I’ve never imagined, the threads of my carefully woven life are unravelling at the seams.

I could walk away. Or I could take a chance that Beck and I might just have what it takes to fashion a new life, together. A fresh design from a new cloth.

This book contains references to past sexual assault.

SNik's Review:

First in series (Style). Hurt/comfort. Found family. Opposites attract. Slow burn. Dual POV.

Heed content warning as there is a past traumatic event that is relevant throughout the story. 

Fashion designer Rhys has finally started his own store and fashion label but all the hard work doesn’t fill his lonely heart. When Rhys meets poetry professor Beck there is immediate attraction, but there is a lot to overcome as Beck thinks they are too different and both men have to overcome a ton of insecurities and personal histories to even consider a relationship. 

Really compelling main characters, with cinnamon roll, romantic at heart Beck, and feisty, afraid to be vulnerable Rhys. 

Entertaining secondary characters that are supportive, lots of real life events Beck and Rhys have to deal with, and the sweet slow burn of a tentative relationship that has many minefields to navigate with care and patience and love. 

Great beginning to a new series and I am super invested in reading the rest.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Miki.J's Review:

"Love is a much rarer treasure, and if we have that, we have a head start on the rest."

Wowers….FLARE is intense and so realistic.  Older MC’s (34 yo & 40 yo) who are living normal lives and at the same time working through their own personal demons.  Part of the story highlights how hard it can be to work through issues and how for every step forward, there may be a few steps back….. and you can feel the frustration and anguish ….a real emotional wrecking ball of a book.  But it's also about two people meeting in the most unconventional manner and once past the initial hiccup of pre-conceived notions, the friendship, laughter, acceptance and love shine through .... and the poetry quotes – quite simply, beautiful.  And yes, why is it that the coffee machine wants to be difficult when you’re dying for a coffee !!!! Totally a first world problem but still….a valid one !! bahahahaha  This is actually the first book I’ve ready by Jay Hogan and dang it, what have I been missing!  I’ve now added this author to my “auto-buy” list !! 

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

FLARE does come with a trigger warning for sexual assault and please heed it if you need to, because the story is central to the way Rhys and Beck's relationship unfolds, and that trauma impacts so much of the book, as it often does survivors... that being said, this book is a beautiful tribute to the resiliency of the soul and the beauty that can come from facing your demons head on.    

It's both an emotional rollercoaster and a joy to read, as you watch both Rhys and Beck struggle and grow together... there are also some amazing side characters - Kip, Rhys' store manager and right hand man, Hunter, Rafe, Drew, Greg, Alec, Leon, Jack, Preston... so many possible future stories...

FLARE is the first book in Jay Hogan's new Style series and I'll say that she's got me all fired up for future installments!

FLARE is currently available in e-book and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription