Review: Looking Forward by Michael Bailey (Unconditional #2)


Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Vibrant Promotions.

Looking Forward is the second novel in Michael Bailey's Unconditional series, and that awesome angst that was found in the series starter, Looking In, was as present as ever, paired quite nicely with a good story about moving forward and realizing that what you were waiting for was right in front of you all along. Owen Hannity was introduced in book one as the owner of a comic book store called Kirby Lee's. Here, we get his back story from when he was nineteen and met his first love, a twenty-two-year-old college student named Jack who also happened to be his best friend Andy's straight cousin...who may not be as straight as people thought he was. But while Owen may have found love at nineteen, this was also the same age he lost his family and almost everything else that mattered. Two and a half decades later, life has moved on, but then the past comes calling, leaving Owen unsure as to how to proceed. Could this be his second chance at something with with Jack that was twenty-five years in the making, or can he finally be honest with himself and sees a possibility for more with someone else?

I enjoyed the author's debut release and was looking forward (pun not intended!) to see how his writing would like as the series progressed. I'm happy to say that Michael Bailey did well in this second outing of his, putting forward a story that had me rooting for the main character to see beyond the past and realize that he was deserving of more and far better and also wanting to get to know a couple of supporting characters who intrigued me in, fingers crossed, future books in the series. I got Owen's opening himself up to a second go-around with Jack, but I admit that there were a couple of points in the story that I wanted to give him a shake and make him open his eyes and heart to someone he boxed into a particular niche for fear of losing this person's friendship--this person being Andy, of course. This isn't really a spoiler given that Andy's name is mentioned in the blurb twice. My one quibble would have to be how the last couple of chapters felt a bit rushed. I would have liked Owen to bask in his time with the person he was sharing his happily-ever-after with, but oh well. I'm giving Looking Forward four out of five stars. ♥ 

Date Read: 05 September 2018

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