In anticipation of the upcoming release of the 3rd Eastside Brewery book, Tanked on April 26th, I thought it would be fun to revisit the first 2 books in the series for our Scenic Sundays. First up is Thirsty, which I originally read in 2019 and then again earlier this month to refresh my memory of the series before I read Tanked.
I loved this book 3 years ago and I love this book now. Tender and heartbreaking, it’s a story about second chances and redemption, about learning to forgive yourself and let yourself be loved. It’s also a story about found family and community….and the sex scenes are really top tier.
There are a few different scenes I want to highlight in this post.
In the first scene, Sal, our troubled MMC, fresh out of prison and trying to rebuild his life, is thinking about therapy and how to manage his emotional turmoil.
The question still nags at me.
Am I broken?
Shit, isn’t everybody broken?
Some people just like to touch their broken parts more than others, to rub them over and over again, like jacking off. I want to leave my broken parts alone.
Whew. This is absolutely a romance but in a lot of ways, it’s also a beautiful character study of Sal Rosas and the journey he takes to rebuild his life and accept that he is worthy of love and forgiveness and a second chance.
Next, is this line, spoken by FMC Vanessa, speaking of her late husband and her past heartbreak.
I love this line so much, I read it and put the book down for a bit to just soak it in. It’s so beautiful and poignant and so incredibly true to who both Sal and Vanessa are, having endured incredibly difficult heartbreaking losses and building emotional shields to protect themselves.
And finally, this incredibly tender, honest moment between the two:
“Whatever you want in a man,” I whisper in her ear. ”Whatever you need. I want to become him.”
She opens her eyes and touches my face. ”Don’t be stupid,” she whispers. ”You are already what I want in a man. You are what I need.”
Watching as Sal desperately tries to be worthy of the woman he loves and Vanessa slowly lets down her guards makes for one of the best contemporary romances I’ve ever read. While the book deals with some really heavy and dark topics, it’s ultimately a beautiful story about hope and second chances.