Carving out a Future (Larchdown Valley Book 3) by Jem Wendel

I love guys with a past getting a second chance. The history these guys create between college bff's and getting reacquainted is totally different. They are totally different twenty years later.

From the Carving Out a Future blurb:

Thirty years can make strangers of the best of friends.


Twenty years ago, the pain of having my ex-wife take my kids away from me was so overwhelming that I had to flee to the other side of the planet just so I could breathe.

When I find out that my youngest son is getting married, I know it's time to mend some fences, reopen old wounds, and get my family back.

What I didn't expect was to run into my former best friend, and I certainly wasn't prepared for the hatred he so clearly has for me. I'd hoped we could rebuild our friendship, but it feels like we take one step forward and two steps back with every conversation we have. I know he feels something for me, so why is he still pushing me away?


Love and hate are extreme emotions. I've experienced both in my life... for the same person. Feelings that he didn't know I had. I had to carve a cage around my heart just so I could breathe.

When I see my former best friend at his son's wedding, I do the only thing I can, the only thing I've ever been good at, and run to the solitude of my fortress in the woods; the cabin and workshop I built from the ground up.

What I didn't expect was for him to chase me, and I certainly didn't expect to still feel this deep, pure love for him. So why, when I should tell him how I feel, do I spew mean, cruel words at him instead? Why am I pushing him away when all I want is to pull him closer?

TW: Depression. Mention of historical suicide

Reed Kaye's review:

This is the third in the series and it helps if you have read the previous ones. The characters reappear from the previous stories. This author has a talent for bringing out such emotional attachment to the characters.
Duncan and Harlan were bff’s in college. The problem was Harlan had stronger feelings for Duncan and was ready to announce them when Duncan tells Harlan he is getting married to his pregnant girlfriend. Harlan steps aside and doesn’t tell Duncan.

Twenty years later both have history. Duncan has had a disastrous marriage and divorce. Harlan has had a broken heart and lived the life of a hermit. When Duncan’s son’s marriage brings them together again things start to happen that bring out Harlan’s hatred for Duncan and Duncan’s desire to get reacquainted with his old bff. This is a heartwarming second chance, little town story. I enjoyed the reappearance of the characters from the previous books and I’m anxious to see what will be next.

Carving Out a Future is currently available as an e-book and paperback