Leap Year by A.M. Arthur

Russ has no luck during Leap Years, and this one seems to be shaping up to be much the same when his peace is shattered by a single dad moving in next door. Will this Leap Year continue Russ' run of bad luck?

From the blurb:

Reclusive artist Russell Schar enjoys his quiet life in the big house he rents from his best friend, so he’s less than thrilled when a small family moves in next door. Neighbors and their noise do not fit into his carefully constructed routines, but as long as they stay on their side of the property? He’ll work it out.  

After a series of family traumas, all single-dad Patrick Gillespie wants is to find some balance: school for his seven-year-old son, a full-time job for himself, and a stable place to live while he gets his late mother’s affairs in order. He does not expect his surly, ginger bear of a neighbor to slide right under his skin and stay there. Or for Russell to develop a fast friendship with Patrick’s son.

A mild flirtation between Patrick and Russell turns into more than either man expects or knows how to deal with. They both want to protect their damaged hearts, but sometimes it takes a leap of faith to find true love.

Leap Year is loosely connected to the Neighborhood Shindig series, but can be read independently. Content warning for discussions of past abuse.

Rogue's Review:

First in a new series, slight age gap, single father, past trauma (on both sides), slow burn, low angst with an HEA. Russell is living a solitary life after a trauma which ended his teaching career, and now he lives by selling his art and is happy being solitary. Patrick is single dad who has been through a lot and is essentially starting over (again), when he and his son move into the property adjoining Russ and they share a pool and part of the yard.

Patrick and Russ build a friendship first of all, and I love that they took things slowly so as not to traumatise Patrick's son who has been through so much in his short life. I loved seeing these two fall slowly and build a family together with Patrick's son. It's altogether sweet and slow and these two just fit together so well, it was great to see them communicating and building a life together. There's one small twist at the end, but not enough to cause trouble, and they talk past it which is great to see.

I felt the ending was a little abrupt, it could have perhaps benefited from an epilogue but that's fairly minor in the grand scheme of things. I'm hoping Angelo gets his story next.

Miki J's Review:

Well, this one was a very surprising gem of a novel. Reclusive teddy bear of a guy meets his new neighbours - single father and son. Both MC's have tragic pasts that they are still trying to work through....while trying not to fall for each other. I like how we get to see how they became neighbourly and then friends (Frog - love him !!) which includes the rest of the characters, very much like a found family. And when the spark between the MC's flare outta control !! phwoar !! Love the interactions between the MC's - from the nicknames and the rest..... and I love how that even though they have their backgrounds, the focus is on them now and moving forward. Plenty of feelings with this story and while both of them are kinda direct, they still hide behind some very tall walls. And when they fall .... they really do fall. This book is sweet, angsty, honest, romantic and oh so steamy. Truly enjoyed it.

Heather's Review:

Leap Year is a small town, single dad, slow burn romance that builds a friendship then a romance between two men with trauma in their histories.  Honestly, my favourite parts of the story are when Russ interacts with Patrick's son - teaching him to swim, helping with his costume and introducing him to the Neighborhood Shindig..

For all the past trauma, this was a fairly low angst story and I appreciated that, although I wouldn't have minded a little bit of hurt/comfort and angst.  I also crave an epilogue - I want to know what's happening 5 years down the road and where these characters grow after they move in together.  

I can't wait to see where this series goes and I truly hope that Angelo & Bryan get their HEAs.

Leap Year is currently available as an e-book and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription