The Bench by Jess K. Hardy
Public defender James has been in self-imposed dating jail since his divorce, but Noah, the gorgeous dad he met at the playground, has him considering parole. Their kids are best friends, they have a lot in common, and they’re both single. It’s almost too perfect, except for one tiny detail: Noah is straight.
City planner Noah’s terrible year started when his wife left him for their twenty-year-old neighbor. Ever since he met James though, things have been looking up. James is smart and kind and now Noah—whose only romantic experience with men was a brain-scrambling spin-the-bottle kiss in high-school—is utterly confused because he can’t stop thinking about him.
During playdates, sleepovers, and steamy sexting sessions, these sensitive and loving dads will discover even broken, uncertain hearts can still find love. When a dark family secret threatens Noah’s daughter, they’ll learn two dads are better than one.
Publication date 15/7/2020
James is slowly getting over his divorce, is the fact his son’s new friends father is the reason?
Noah is still burning with anger and resentment, how dare his wife replace him with a twenty year old!
What a cute story.
Basically revolves around a playground park bench (hence the title)
One straight dad (well with a little curiosity thrown in) and a gay dad chatting and commiserating on a park bench.
The men have been chatting for about three months now, they cheer each other up, and offer a shoulder to cry on, and a sounding board when things need thinking through.
All comes to a head when Noah’s daughter asks if Max (James’s son) can come and have a sleepover at their house!
We then have Noah admitting to James he kisses a guy in college and liked it. But now wants a chance with James (at first you have to wonder if Noah is trying to get back at his ex)
Slowly they begin a tentative relationship, phone calls and naughty texts take it forward. James has told Noah he’s prepared to wait till he’s ready.
A sleepover with the children give the two men their opportunity to be together…..
Then a series of incidents, misunderstandings and awkward moments almost break this almost couple up!
James is also suffering from past hurts and heartaches, he also wonders if he’s good enough to be a parent to his little boy, and a new partner to a man who may or may not be gay! But he really likes Noah and hopes he won’t break his heart!
Noah wants James, he knows it’s not just a passing phase, but when his ex finds out he’s dating a man, she gets nasty and tells him she’s going for full custody…..
A lovely story, it hooked me in and I devoured it in one afternoon.