Book Review – A Much Younger Man by Z.A. Maxfield

Men of St. Nacho’s #1
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 258
Characters: Lindy/Beck
POV: 1st
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Series

One man is older and not quite wiser. The other is young and steady. Can they ignore the critics and let their hearts decide?

Veterinarian Linden Davies gets on better with animals than men. After a lifetime of always putting work first, he’s resigned himself to one-night stands and shallow blind dates. But years of heartache evaporate when he offers a handsome young busker a free health check for his companion Labrador.

Christopher “Beck” Beckett vowed to care for his late friend’s loyal dog. After falling out with his parents and ending up on the streets playing music for tips, he longs for a warm embrace and a compassionate kiss. Linden is perfect, and he takes Beck under his wing, but his hangups over a relationship with someone half his age have Beck’s head spinning.

As Linden lets the sweet wayward guitarist into his world and gives him renewed purpose, he battles disapproval from his friends and family. And when Beck realizes the kindhearted vet could well be his true soulmate, he fears that their love is probably doomed.

Will this perfect match transcend the judgment of others?

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The original St Nacho’s series was on my first introductions to the world of MM romance so I was very excited to be revisiting it. I loved Lindy and Beck’s story, which sucked me in immediately, and kept me enthralled from start to finish. An added bonus was revisiting some of the original characters I’d fallen in love with years ago. Cooper and Shaun have a decent sized role in this story.

Lindy and Beck are both good men who have gone through rough times/past relationships. I loved how Lindy second guesses himself throughout the story, not only worried about the age difference between him and Beck, and not wanting to take advantage, but convincing himself that he has nothing to offer a much younger man. Beck’s more sure of himself, yet also doesn’t want to take advantage in any shape or form. I liked how the usual trope of more sure older man was flipped in this story. Their mutual attraction is obvious from the first time they meet, and I loved the friendship that grows between them. The scenes with the kittens are adorable, and show the human side of both men.

The descriptions are fabulous. Not only do the settings seem very real but the music comes alive on the page. I’m always very happy when music is a part of a story and this didn’t disappoint.

This is also very much a story about family, and found family. Lindy’s mother starts off as very annoying and trying to set him up with ‘suitable men,’ yet by the end of the story I loved her. His dad is wonderful, and the heart to heart he has with Lindy felt very real. I was very happy that Beck, whose family made him choose between them and Callie, finds his found family in Lindy’s and in St. Nacho’s.

I loved Cooper and Shaun’s part of the series, and I liked Lindy’s staff at his practice. His work and the animals he treats slid into the story and gave it an extra layer. I liked how the author didn’t shy away from the not so great side of being a vet, with Lindy having to help mistreated animals, and make the difficult decision to euthanize those he couldn’t help.

I’m very happy that Epic is getting his own story. As soon as he turned up, I wanted to know more about him, despite him not having a large role.

Callie and Rico are characters in their own right, and play an important part in the story too.

The HEA ending was perfect, and great ending to a very satisfying read. I’m already looking forward to more in this series.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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