My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Thank you for this book Kelly Jensen, just thank you.
I am 48 like Brian, I am disabled with mobility issues that came out of the blue at a relatively young age and changed my world like Malcolm.
I may not be a gay man but I could empathise with so much that these two complex and wonderfully alive characters had experienced and the doubts and fears they lived with.
Getting a redemption storyline right is not an easy task, and while Brian was never a true villain, our gaze as readers had been on him from the point of view of his ex Simon and Simon’s best friend Frank.
We had an opinion on his character, on his behaviour, on how he was an ass, on how he treated Simon appallingly. But we were wrong in many ways.
Brian was a lost soul, clinging onto something that wasn’t, and never would be, the right relationship for him or Simon, but lacking the whole awareness to realise it and so putting them both through Hell.
He’d been fighting his whole life so hard that he didn’t know how to stop and put his shield and sword away.
It wasn’t until his nephew Josh shows up with a painful reminder of the past, that Brian starts to become the beautifully flawed man he truly is. And it is then through the eyes of Malcolm that the layers start to peel away.
And here can I gush about Malcolm for a bit. He’s not perfect either, he’s physically fragile and feeling his mortality after the hit and run that almost destroyed his legs and nearly took his life.
But he is strong in heart, aware of his weaknesses and determined to not let his age, his awkwardness or his shyness get inside his head and prevent him from acknowledging that he wants Brian even with his asshole reputation.
I’m not sure which one I loved the most. They were stubborn, they were vulnerable, they were sexy and sweet together, frustrating and fascinating and ultimately the perfect fit to slot into place and create their own future together.
The secondary plot was a surprise, I didn’t expect it to go the way it did but the narrative actually couldn’t have been more right in the end. It’s not the physical places that make a community but the people and the friendships and while the final outcome was a different one, I loved it.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each book in this series, so much so that I bought them all even though I’d had the ARCs. This is hands down one of the best series I’ve read not only this year but in the contemporary romance genre as a whole.
If you want interesting and intelligent mature characters all well past their youthful bloom who find and fall in love with their perfect partner, then you’d not go far wrong with picking this series up.
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.