Read Stage Two by Ariel Tachna Online


Love has a steep learning curve.Assistant high school principal Blake Barnes has everything he wants—a chance to help troubled students and an outlet for his passion for theater. Well, almost everything—he still goes home to an empty apartment. Then his high school crush explodes back into his life, the unexpected guardian of two boys in Blake’s care.Thane Dalton has alwayLove has a steep learning curve.Assistant high school principal Blake Barnes has everything he wants—a chance to help troubled students and an outlet for his passion for theater. Well, almost everything—he still goes home to an empty apartment. Then his high school crush explodes back into his life, the unexpected guardian of two boys in Blake’s care.Thane Dalton has always been a bad boy through and through. Not much has changed, including his mistrust of authority figures, and no amount of institutional bureaucracy will keep him from protecting his nephews from the bullies terrorizing them. If that means butting heads with Blake, so be it.Blake and Thane have lessons to learn: that they both have the boys’ best interests at heart, that the tension between them isn’t just confrontational, and that sparks can fly when opposites come together....

Title : Stage Two
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781635331493
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Stage Two Reviews

  • Lelyana
    2019-01-30 09:33

    Blake has always been a good teacher for his students.But meeting Thane, his teenage crush lowered down his self confidence.Definitely an opposite attracts since the beginning, Thane didn't even realized or remember about Blake back then.He's always an arrogant one. But after his sister left him with his two teenage nephew, he's suddenly became a parent and he seemed a little unprepared for that. Especially when he have to face bullying.Blake offered his idea. Didn't trust Blake in the beginning, they're finally passed the barricade of awkward teacher-parent relationship, became friends, and then lovers.This a sweet story about acceptance, grief, adjustment and a chance o be more.Not a hard book, the bullying is light one, the nephews are both great.This one is more of 'family building', and how to be a parent for teenagers..ouch. Not easy, I know.This is a good book, read this one.*ARC provided by Dreamspinner press in exchange of an honest and fair review.&

  • Serena Yates
    2019-01-30 14:23

    From the setup to the characters, the description of this story sounded good to me. On one hand, there is Blake: an assistant high school principal worried about two of his students, the need to find a way to protect them against the bullies they’ve been facing, and the boys’ irate guardian, Thane, to deal with. A guardian who just happens to be the bad boy Blake crushed on in high school. On the other hand, there is Thane: the tough owner of a construction company in charge of his two nephews now that their parents are deceased. Blake remembers Thane, but not the other way around. Thane doesn’t think much of Blake – on any level – and the sparks between these very different men fly from the beginning.Blake and Thane are opposite in many ways, but they share quite a few important interests. Above all, they want to protect two vulnerable boys from bullies. The fact that their methods are very different doesn’t help, but since Blake is in charge, Thane has to grudgingly accept to try thing his way. Blake’s plan of involving the boys in the theater set-building group, which will integrate them into the new school more quickly and hopefully give them friends and some protection, is a good one even if it takes Thane a while to see the benefits. Thane’s ability to help with the construction side of things should be an asset, except he has a tendency to take over, where Blake just wants to teach…There are many areas of friction and conflict between Blake and Thane, and they both have to learn to accept their differences if they want to achieve the one goal they share: protect the boys from more bullying. It was fascinating to watch two grown men deal with parenting issues, as they slowly realize that there is more to the tension between them than differing ideas about how to handle any given crisis. The fact that they met before when they were in high school gives this the additional dimension of a reunion, a do-over in a way, and this added a dimension to their romance I really liked – especially since it took Thane a while to even remember their past.If you like love stories where opposites come together in an occasionally explosive way, if you think taking care of two teenagers is a tough job, and if you’re looking for a read full of snark, interpersonal tension, humor, the occasional moment of comic relief, and a slow-burn romance that explodes into fiery passion once it gets going, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It’s clever, entertaining, and full of true-to-life moments that made me smile more than once.NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

  • Sara
    2019-02-04 07:29

    3 HeartsI’m sort of at a loss how to review this. I mean I liked it but where I normally feel the fluff and romance from the Dreamspun line, this one fell flat. Told from dual POVs, we meet Blake Barnes as he is dealing with two young men, Kit and Phillip, who attend the high school where he is the Sophomore Vice Principal. Kit and Philip are in the office for fighting but they say they were only fighting because Kit was being bullied by jocks. When Blake looks up who their guardian is after learning their parents are both dead, he finds out their guardian is the boy Blake crushed on in High School; bad boy Thane Dalton. Let me take a moment here to say that while the story truly is a romance, it focuses a lot on Thane's nephews who have been recently orphaned after their mother, Thane's sister, passed away. They lost their father when they were very young and have only been with Thane for a month when the bully situation at school escalates. Thane is doing what he can while juggling his construction business and learning how not to let his nephews nor the memory of his sister down. Blake, being the boys' vice principal, is drawn to their situation before he knows who their guardian is and begins to bond with the boys for the simple reason they are awesome kids who don't deserve to be targets of jock head jocks. Thane is pretty much still the arrogant bad boy from high school just with a self-made business and the unconditional love for his nephews. When he meets Blake to pick up the boys, his first impression could not be more off and he judges Blake harshly. Of course, Thane has no clue he went to school with Blake and actually accuses Blake of being some spoiled rich kid. Thane is hesitant to agree to the action Blake takes with his nephews for the incident, seeing as it’s a he said/he said deal, Blake assigns Kit and Philip to work on the stage crew for the theatre department's upcoming production of Guys and Dolls. Once Thane agrees it’s better than suspension or ISS, he reluctantly offers to help out a few times since his business is in construction. I felt for Blake so much. I get having an unrequited crush in high school come back after years and still feel as if time has reversed and you are once again a kid with a crush and not an adult. I liked that the author went with a slow burn for this romance, focusing more on the family aspect of Thane and his nephews, as well as Blake developing a relationship with the two men. Blake and Thane’s meet-cute offered the reader a chance to see the attraction Thane denied. It also let us know that Thane is still an ass man through and through. The details of the stage crew was fun to read and I liked that the high school had supervision of the students, but ultimately let them lead the production of the play and also the construction of the set design. It also gave ample opportunity for Blake to be with Kit and Philip and an excuse for Thane to show up and ogle Blake. There were some seriously sweet moments with all of them but after Blake mentions he went to school with Thane and Thane makes the statement in the closet… it was finally on. But then it wasn’t. Now, I get with this line there is sparse sex on the page and I am way okay with that. I don’t need on page sex to make a romance a romance for me but this was off when it came to the sex. We had some really hot and heavy lead ups between the couple that just stopped. It felt like those old commercials with the crash test dummies seeing them flying at a fast speed only to hit a wall. We got labeling Thane as an “ass man” who didn’t care if he was grabbing tits or dick while he was ass deep in someone. So I thought we would get Thane in ass deep action and well, we didn’t. I’ll be honest and say that disappointed me. The conflict of the story made me angry. I know that Thane is learning how to parent and how to be in a relationship, but he really screwed up with Blake and I think Blake should have made him grovel way more than he did before he gave him a second chance. Stage Two was a nice read, one that didn’t make me feel like the other stories in the line did. But the sweet moments were memorable and the end tied up everything in a pretty bow the way the series is known for.

  • Lissa
    2019-02-18 07:18

    I struggled between giving this book three and four stars, and I ended up going with three, mainly because it was a good book but it fell apart for me a bit in the last third.Oh Dreamspun Desires, how I love them when I'm in the mood for them. They're tropey as hell, but that is kind of the whole point. And considering that my formative romance-loving (and -reading) years were spent with Harlequins (I didn't know of any other publishers, just what were available on the racks at the local library and in the grocery store - much less anything that wasn't rigidly straight, at least until I was seventeen), I still get that itch once in a while that just needs to be scratched with tropey goodness. In fact, I have the monthly Dreamspun Desires subscription just so I can binge read the ever loving shit out of them when the urge strikes. Haha. The tropes in this offering include: second chances, the "making a family" trope, the high school crush that still burns, the construction worker, and the principal who sticks up for your kids. ;) I didn't think that I would like Blake, to be honest, because wasn't he the one who was set up with Nav in "A Matchless Man" (book 2 in this series, but all can be read as standalones)? I keep thinking that he was, and he was kind of an ass to Nav. But maybe it wasn't him. Or maybe he's grown up a bit since that book. ;) Whatever. Anyway, I liked Blake in this book, because I think most of us can relate to the "one who got away" or having an unrequited crush in high school. Thane had some anger management issues, which were clearly evident towards the end of the book (view spoiler)[when he completely blew up at Blake for reasons out of Blake's control and then acted butthurt about it for a while (hide spoiler)]. Maybe I should have added "man with anger issues" in the above list of tropes.But a lot of things worked for me in this book. I liked Ariel Tachna's writing style; she is one of my go-to writers when it comes to m/m romance. And it may have been because I was high while reading this book (Colorado yeahhhhhh baby!!), but I found myself giggling out loud quite a few times. There were some great funny parts. And I really did like the two nephews, Philip and Kit, who really blossomed over the course of the book. And Thane giving Philip a sex talk was all sorts of YES (enthusiastic consent for the win) and LOL (because it was just so awkward). There's not much sex to be had in this book (keeping with the Dreamspun Desires line), which I didn't mind, especially since the exact mechanics of m/m sex leave me rather indifferent (lesbian here haha - gay male sex is great, but it doesn't get my engine revving, so to speak). But I read these books for the relationships, and there's a good one here, if you can get over the anger issues on Thane's part. I read this book in one sitting, so it was definitely entertaining. I will definitely read more from this author in the future, but I already knew that, because I really liked "The Path" (I believe that was the first book of hers that I have read) and the other books by Tachna that I have read so far. If you are expecting a trope-fest with mostly off-the-page sex, then I would recommend this book for sure.

  • Sarah
    2019-01-22 14:28

    3.5 stars - I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads. High school teacher Blake and Construction boss Thane are thrown together when Thane’s nephews become the victims of bullies at Blake’s school. Sparks fly from the first meeting but Blake and Thane don’t always agree on the best way to keep the boys safe.Blake feels a little bland at the start of the story. He doesn’t really have a life beyond his job. It’s his interactions with students that give him colour and let us see his interests and enthusiasm. Thane is all colour and character but when he is given guardianship of his nephews, he finds himself having to grow up and be responsible for the first time ever. Together, Blake and Thane balance each other. There is one exaggerated miscommunication that I found annoying but otherwise, their relationship is pretty grown up and their focus is Thane’s kids. However, my major reservation about this story is that the adult relationship is secondary to the men's care for the boys. This makes for a sweet story but it isn't terribly sexy. It took me a while to understand Blake’s role at the high school. I think he’d be a Head of Year in the UK. Much of this story takes place at his school and the author captures the interactions between staff, students and parents really well. I’m not a massive fan of family style romances and I don’t often enjoy kids in romance writing. However, Thane’s boys are well developed characters and I really liked the almost YA parts of this story. The kids do restrict the heat level in this story but they also add personality and they bring Blake and Thane together.

  • Levi
    2019-02-15 10:17

    Full review is at :OptimuMM - Home of MM Book ReviewsNow before I start reviewing this book, I wanna state the fact that I’m a man. Yes, I’m gay, but I’m a man, with manly feelings, manly habits. Well, as manly as a gay man can have…that means no sports nor handy work for me 😉 (for all the gay man out there who like sports and handy work, I do apologise). Why should I clarify this? Well, and I mean no offense, this book for me was a girly MM. And by girly, I mean that one of the MC’s behavior is like a woman’s character. I know, I know, you lady readers may not notice the difference but trust me, from a man’s POV the difference is pretty obvious.That said, the book is an honest 4.5 OptimuMM read.When Blake Barnes was in high school, he had a crush on the bad boy Thane Dalton.Now years later, when two of Blake’s students got bullied, he is face to face, again, with his high school crush. Thane Dalton is the student’s gradient. His bad boy attitude hadn’t changed at all. He’s demanding, authoritative but Blake isn’t impressed…at all…right. Blake’s come up with a solution that may resolve the boy’s problem.Thane Dalton, the owner of Dalton Construction, after he lost his sister to cancer now is the guardian of his two nephews. When he’s called to the principal’s office, he’d had enough. He doesn’t respond well to authoritative figures. He’s no different with Barnes either. But damn. Maybe Mr. B. has a point this time.The boys are enrolled in the theater crew helping out building the scenes. Blake is the sponsor of the crew, supervising the students. Of course, Thane is angry almost with anything Blake does. This will bring us in funny situations. But that’s not all…Thane starts to notice Blake.Although, as I mentioned, this is a girly MM, the book is good. I loved the dynamics of the MC’s and the emotions between the two. In this book there is no hot scenes at all, it leaves more room for emotions.I highly recommend this book to everyone!***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

  • MorganSkye
    2019-02-07 08:33

    I don’t know what the name would be – but I think everyone has that fantasy – the boy/girl you crushed on in high school who was so unattainable but triggered all your young lust… now, you’re an adult and lonely and lo and behold – said person is still around and just as hot and now… he/she can be yours!This hit all those notes. Thane didn’t know Blake when they were kids, but Blake sure crushed hard on Thane. Now Thane is an uncle and all bossy and protective and though he and Blake clash at first – that spark ignites between them.I thought the chemistry was wonderful – very hot and yet it wasn’t the main focus of the story. The boys – Thanes nephews –were adorable and very charming. Blake’s role as principal was portrayed fairly accurately and his dilemmas with procedure felt authentic.I didn’t like that even at the end Thane was a dick to Blake and Blake didn’t make him grovel enough when he really should have.It was a sweet ending with a solid HFN/HEA and very hopeful. I enjoyed this and while I had some niggles – for the most part that it was really engaging.4 of 5 starsAudioI really liked this! I can take or leave John Solo’s narrations, he always does a solid job but I’m not always “wowed”. This time, however, he really impressed me! I thought he did Thane’s accent and personality perfectly and even the kids with their cadence felt really authentic.I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it!5 of 5 starsOverall 4.5 of 5 stars

  • Ami
    2019-01-31 15:11

    Based on my thoughts on the previous Tachna's two books in this series -- and Dreamspun line -- I felt the same problem that I kept encountering, that it didn't really live up to its potential. A teacher and a single father (well, Thane is technically an uncle, but he gets to become sole guardian to his two nephews after their parents died) is one of the most common themes of category romance, and I usually enjoy them as well. In here, I did like the teens and the work they did with stage crew. I thought it was really interesting to read.I also liked Blake, I admired him and his loyalty towards his students. Blake loved them all and clearly he was passionate with teaching them. My rating for this book is influenced by my liking Blake and the teens.It was Thane that I had issues with. He had temper, he was quick to judge ... and well, Blake had crush on Thane when he was freshman and Thane was senior and Thane clearly said that he wouldn't even pay attention to Blake back then.Look, at one point, after Thane's temper again showing its ugly head, Blake said "Take your temper and your bad attitude and shove it up your ass. I’m done"... honestly, I wish THAT is how this book ends and Blake can be happy with someone else *shrugs*

  • Crystal Marie
    2019-01-25 13:14

    Stage Two, the third book in the Lexington Lovers series by Ariel Tachna, is a contemporary, second chance M/M romance. High school assistant principal Blake Barnes is tasked with deciphering the truth regarding the bullying of tenth grade brothers Kit and Phillip. Little does he know that Thane Dalton, his high school crush, is their uncle and guardian. Blake and Thane connect through theater and the boys. But is it enough to sustain them, despite their differences?Stage Two was a cute, if predictable, opposites-attract romance. Thane was the rough around the edges bad boy with a hair trigger temper and Blake was the level-headed artistic partner. I really enjoyed Blake and thought he brought a lot of emotional depth to the story. Thane came off as unrealistically hardened, while still being loving to Kit and Phillip. My biggest criticism is that they needed to work on their communication, but who doesn’t? Stage Two is well-written, funny, and touching. Solid read if you don’t want to think too hard.Reviewed by Liz Cat for Crystal's Many ReviewersCopy provided for review

  • Katy Beth Mckee
    2019-02-14 12:18

    This story is a lot of fun and really what adds to the adventure is grown-ups having to deal with teens and all their stuff. Blake and Thane have to overcome their own thoughts while dealing with the Thane's nephews. Both of these men are really ready for more in their lives and it seems like a great time for them to get together. Of course there are misunderstandings to be gotten through on the way to a relationship.

  • Rissa
    2019-02-07 09:13

    It took a while for me to warm up to Thane and when I thought it was ok, he does something that made me angry, lol.On the other hand, I liked Blake and Thane's nephews.I liked the epilogue! :)

  • jules0623
    2019-01-30 15:25

    Hated Thane. HATED!

  • Rick
    2019-02-13 10:35

    Really enjoyed this book.

  • Ingeborg
    2019-01-22 13:15


  • Michael
    2019-02-07 11:18

    3.75 Stars.

  • Heather Martin
    2019-01-21 07:23

    *Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*Stage Two is Book 3 in Ariel Tachna's Lexington Lovers series. Each of these books could be read as a standalone without too much issue, but it's a really good series, so why not just read all of them? Blake Barnes is an assistant high school principal and he loves his job. He graduated from the same high school he works at and still has the same best friend from high school. He lives a pretty structured, solitary, routine life. He has his job, and he hangs out with his best friend every Friday night, but he's single and hasn't made the time to meet someone. All that changes when Blake has to call the guardian of the two boys who he pulled into his office for fighting. He knows more is going on with the boys but they won't trust him enough to let him help them. Blake is shocked when the guardian of the boys comes in and it turns out to be his high school crush, Thane. Thane is not happy that his nephews aren't being protected in the school, and from his experience as a student at the school, he's prepared to do what's needed to keep them safe. I really liked Blake in this story. He had a good heart and wanted to take care of the students in the school. He had a good group of friends and was just a really nice guy. He worked hard and was dedicated to the students. I did question his judgement in his crush on Thane. Thane was a jerk in most interactions with Blake. Thane was cocky, loud, judgmental, and confrontational. He did not hide his feelings about Blake and how inept, weak and lazy he thought Blake was. Some of his characteristics I could overlook because he was doing everything he could to protect his nephews, but other times, I just really didn't like him. Thane did grow throughout the story, and his devotion and love to his nephews helped me come around to not completely writing him off. And the boys were great characters, who flourished under the guidance of their uncle and Blake. This is definitely an opposites attract story, so if you love that trope, you need to make sure to grab this one! I thought this was a great addition to the Lexington Lovers series and can't wait to read what comes next!Rating: 4.5 stars!

  • Natosha Wilson
    2019-02-06 13:11

    What happens when you are all grown up, the assistant principal at th high school, have two boys in your office that are new but are being bullied, and then find out their guardian is none other then your high school crush? Well in Blakes case you get tongue tied around him. Then when you untie your tongue you say the wrong thing and get off to the wrong footing. And in Blake's case you decide you do not like your previous crush like you used too. He may even think that Thane is even a bigger a$$ now then when he was younger. A very hot A$$ but an a$$ just the same.Regardless Blake knows he has to do what he can in order to keep Blake's nephews, Kit and Phillip safe from the bullies. That is why he suggests joint the theater crew to help them make friends and to keep the occupied and he will be able to keep an extra close eye of them also.The only problem is though he invited Thane to pitch and help with the set building for the theater, he did not figure he would actually do it. But here they were and the more time they spent together the more his crush from Before comes back full force.Can two men and two boys all come together to make a family that they all crave or will there be too many obstacles and issues standing in their way? This was a really good read with some extremely sweet moments in it. But at the same time Ariel incorporated a serious subject of bullying at school and how the issue is handled. I think that Ariel did a wonderful job on this book and I really enjoyed it. Cannot wait till the next book in this series comes out.Was given this galley copy for free for an open and honest review