Baited by Tami Veldura is all about that first love who you never truly forget. I received a copy of this book at no charge from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Baited by Tami Veldura
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Zach left small town Edenburg twenty years ago. He got out, went to school, started a business, and never forgot his first love, Mason Gilbert. When he hears Mason’s mother has died of a stroke, he drops everything to help his best friend get through it. But Zach left Edenburg for a reason.
Since Zach left, Mason has managed to make a small space for himself in Edenburg. He hides his past and, in return, no one brings it up. It’s a system that works just fine until his past comes charging back in an off-white Bronco to save the day. Mason doesn’t need saving and Zach’s persistence is unraveling the life he made.
Zach doesn’t know the Mason he’s found in Edenburg. Mason’s loosing hunting clients and credibility all around town. People are choosing sides. Zach thought he was coming back for happily ever after, but he’s starting to feel like the big bad wolf.
Zach has just returned to Edenburg after having fled the small town 20 years previously. When he left, he also left his first love Mason behind as well and no amount of sleeping around or focusing on his career will let him forget his first love. He leaves everything behind in a desperate attempt to reconnect with the man who holds his heart hostage even after all these years.
Mason has learned to deal with the bigotry of small town America by staying very firmly in the closet. He never forgot Zach but holds a great deal of hostility towards him for running away when he, himself, had to stay to care for his mother. Zach’s reappearance rekindles those feeling he thought he had buried so long ago. But along with the passion also comes quite a bit of anger. He and Zach have an uphill battle if they are ever going to develop a relationship that is deep enough to blossom into a new life together.
Baited by Tami Veldura had a lot of promise and there were things I enjoyed about it and areas where I think the author should have been a bit clearer. The young love re-blossoming later in life is one of my favorite themes but Zach sold his condo and left his best friend and his business to go back to Mason…who he had not spoken one word to for 20 years. That seemed a bit too far fetched and I would have rather seen him just visiting his home town for a few weeks instead. I also think there were a few areas in the book where the transition from one scene to another was a bit abrupt although the story itself was clear and I followed along quite easily.
Small town America is definitely not a fan of ‘the gay’ and Mason’s town is no exception. The author did a good job of showing the reader how difficult it was for him to stay hidden from his bigoted neighbors. I think it is a bit odd that he wanted to stay in such a horrid town given their hatred of him but his hawks, hunting dogs, and his very profession require a rural area, unlike Zach’s citified existence for the last 20 year. I would have liked to see them find their happily ever after in a happier town!
Overall, Baited is a good story about relearning to love someone after being apart for so very long. It isn’t easy to fall back in love but it can happen and I’m happy that Zach and Mason figured it out in the end.