“Photography is a tough life: you can be taken, framed, exposed, shot, captured, and hung all in the same day.” ~Author Unknown
As unfair as it is, people judge someone's abilities by how young they look. Adam Locke, of 'Clique' by Jayden Brooks, has worked hard to keep the business his aunt passed down to him successful and, doing so, gained the respect of the good people of Heartsville. Even though Adam is attracted to him, when a handsome stranger, Brandon, is condescending to him, Adam is hurt and insulted. He tries to forget him, but can't seem to get him out of his mind, especially when Brandon seems to appear wherever Adam goes.
Adam is still very angry at Brandon for dismissing him before he even knows Mark. He confides in his best friend, Mark, who owns Bookmarked, Heartsville's book store. Mark is understanding, but tells Adam to give him another chance. Against his better judgement, Adam approaches Brandon, who by now, realizes that Adam is no kid; he's an established member of the community. With this new knowledge, Brandon's reaction to Adam is much more open. Since Adam is the forgiving type, he decides to go with it instead of continuing to make himself miserable and things begin to look up. Brandon has some confessions of his own that explain why he's moved to town and why he's dog walking. Adam and Brandon get into a discussion about why Adam doesn't have a dog, which is apparently a game breaker, especially for Brandon's mom who runs a dog rescue. Adam promises to rethink his “dogless” state.
This a great addition to the Heartsville series. Even though the stories can be read separately, I love that they are linked together by having characters from the other stories in them. Although young and handsome, Adam's wit was a big part of his charm. Reactions like this made me laugh: “My body and brain finally synced up in a chorus of hallelujahs.” The story had lots of light, amusing parts, but it also had a few bittersweet ones, like when Adam talked about his aunt and how much she helped shape his life, it was beautiful and made me cry. Of course, Lulu, the Weimaraner puppy's antics, stole the show. If you like stories with handsome men, best friends, pumpkin ale, dogs, and photography, then you may enjoy 'Clique.' Thanks, Jaden, for an entertaining, feel-good story.