Review: Give Way by Valentine Wheeler

Give Way is a short, steamy romance with very little conflict. It was exactly the thing I wanted to read in the new year.

Kevin McNamara’s life after retirement is… fine. He has friends, a few consulting gigs, and an ex-wife he’s finally on good terms with. But when he meets an intriguing stranger – a rarity in close-knit Swanley, Massachusetts – in his apartment lobby, he can’t stop thinking about him or about the unexpected attraction that knocked him flat.

Awais Siddiqui never thought he’d want to come back to his childhood hometown, but when his grandmother falls ill, he’s the only one who can move back to help. Awais figures he’ll be back in a big city soon enough–but then a silver fox on his route catches his eye.

Sometimes all you need is a special delivery.


I received an eARC of Give Way from the author in exchange for an honest review. Wheeler and I are mutuals on Twitter.

Give Way is the second book set in Swanley, Massachussets. It is readable as a standalone, but I think you’ll get more out of it if you read No Parking first.

It does need content warnings for internalized biphobia and mentions of racism and othering.

Kevin and Awais make for a delightful couple. There’s a 15 year age gap which causes some trouble, but not too much since they’re both older men. I loved the way they figured their issues out together.

Most of the conflict in Give Way is internal which can be a little difficult, but I thought Wheeler handled it well. I loved how absolutely nosy everyone was with no qualms about it, in the way that small towns roll. Swanley is, as always, extremely queer affirming.

I would love to see more of Awais and Kevin in future stories, especially because I felt like Kevin was reaching for something more in his “retirement.” That would be really fun to explore.

You can pick up a copy through our affiliate link to Amazon. If you’ve already gotten yours, check out this guest post talking about the main characters of No Parking and Give Way and who they would be as pastries!

This is box title

Title: Give Way

Series: Swanley #2

Author: Valentine Wheeler

Publisher: Ninestar Press

Length: 112 Pages

Release Date: January 4, 2021

Rating: Recommended

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Representation: Black Gay Muslim Male love interest, White Jewish Bisexual Male main character, white bisexual female minor character, straight muslim female minor character, queer muslim female minor character, many other queer side characters of a variety of races and genders.

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound,, The Book Depository, The Ripped Bodice and Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy through those links, LFAI will make a small amount of money off of the sale.