4 Stars

When I read the blurb to this I thought I was getting something entirely different. To be fair I can’t really remember what that was but I enjoyed what I did get. This book was a nice dark gritty story. It was relatable on a few levels. Mostly it was just nice in the big sea of M/M romance to read something with more than surface value and steamy sex. Which I love, but sometimes It’s nice to have something more solid and this story provided that.

The struggle of being afraid to let anyone in because that has brought you nothing but pain was believable. The questioning of anything good because of said fear was relatable. And the certain level of irrationality to it fit the main character, Joe, quite well. It made sense. The story between him and the other main Madden progressed at a good pace and I didn’t feel bogged down or rushed at any point in the story.

I had two real issues with this story, one doing with a cell phone. I honestly still can’t wrap my head around the logic of the character’s reaction there. Even with some of the explanation as to why they reacted and adding it to the reasoning behind the ending it still didn’t connect. I couldn’t see the main character as the type of person to make that decision based on how he was written. His type of anxiety just didn’t align well with the phone or the end of story reaction. Fortunately neither of those were enough to derail that I did enjoy reading this novel.

If you like a good love story that’s more real than guilty pleasure this is a good book to read. It does have its moments but anything that bothered me was small in comparison to the overall treat here. The only other issue was that for a deep story sometimes it felt like it could’ve went deeper where the connection between the two mains was concerned. The depth of the characters separately was fine, but together sometimes when big things happened, like when Joe revealed his past, I was left feeling like… okay… that’s it? This story went there the majority of the time but some opportunities to really go there got left behind. 

Still I was glad on the whole that I could have more in-depth characters and storyline rather than the more popular M/M variety of love stories. Basically, I’m here for darker relatable tales and this one fit the bill just fine.

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