Would you say you’re more trustworthy now, or before you went to jail?” I asked.
His eyebrows furrowed. “Now, of course. I don’t do the things I used to.”
“But you didn’t have a record then.”
“Yeah.” He let out a humorless chuckle. “Because I hadn’t gotten caught yet.”
“Exactly. Sometimes the squeaky-clean ones only look great on paper because they’ve never been caught. It doesn’t make them innocent or harmless.”
We stopped moving.
“Casey,” he breathed out, his tone a bit tortured as he buried his face in my hair. “If I was a better man, I’d walk away from you and your son. I’d leave you alone. I’d let some other guy—a doctor or a teacher or anyone who’s not me—sweep you off your feet and give you everything you’ve ever wanted.”
“But you’re not that good, right?” I asked lightly, a smile spreading over my lips.
Jay pulled back slowly, his scruff scraping against my cheek along the way. Tingles spread over my skin as he gave me a heated look.
He cupped the nape of my neck, and his gaze fell to my mouth. “No, I’m not.”
And then his lips were on mine.
I really liked how together Casey was for such a young single mom. She’s only 18, and she’s struggling, but she has her stuff together. She’s doing the best that she can… as Jay reminded her. I loved how she kept throwing his words back at him, because despite what Jay thought about his past as a junkie drug dealer, he really was doing the best he could to stay sober and make something of himself post-prison.
In the beginning, Jay was borderline stalkerish at first. But he was so enamored with Casey and really stepped up for her and Gus over and over again, that I let my initial impression of him slide and saw him for the romantic hero that he was. And little Gus was adorable. He isn’t just a prop character, but he propels the relationship between Casey and Jay.
Magic Man is a standalone in Jamie Schlosser’s The Good Guys series, but there is an appearance by Makenna and Jimmy from Dropout. (Casey’s babydaddy is Makenna’s abusive ex from that book.) If you’re looking for a feel-good romance, check it out. I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.