Why I read it: Marie Sexton and Heidi Cullinan are two of my favourite m/m romance authors. I'd been saving this one but after reading and loving Dirty Laundry (Tucker Springs #3 Heidi Cullinan) recently, I decided I definitely needed more Tucker Springs.
What it's about: (from Goodreads) Paul Hannon moved to Tucker Springs for his girlfriend, but she's left him with a house he can't afford and a pantry full of useless gadgets. All Paul wants is to get back to normal, even if he's not sure what that is anymore. When he wanders into Tucker Pawn for a gift to win her back, he meets El Rozal, pawn shop owner and all-around cynic. El Rozal doesn't do relationships, especially not with clueless straight boys still pining for their ex. El may make his living dealing in castoffs, but that doesn't apply to men. Still, when Paul starts clearing out his old life, pawning kitchen equipment he never wanted in the first place, El is drawn to Paul in spite of himself. Paul and El have nothing in common except a past full of disappointments. There's no reason to believe the two of them could fit, but in El's line of work, one man's junk is another man's treasure. When it comes to love, El and Paul may learn that secondhand doesn't mean second best.
What worked for me (and what didn't): I loved the slow build of the romance in this story. Told in alternating POV (first for Paul and third for El), I enjoyed getting inside the minds of both men. El was smitten right from the start and his methods of making sure Paul returned to the pawn shop amused - Paul was so oblivious to what was going on around him but El didn't take advantage. El tells Paul late in the book that he was happy to be the one to wait around long enough for Paul to notice and I liked that El didn't make Paul suffer for it - it was part and parcel of who Paul is and El loved him. This is very much juxtaposed with Stacey's treatment of Paul which is ALL ABOUT HER.