Kate Paddington is a new author for me, and I enjoyed meeting her characters and familiarizing myself with her style in this sweet reunion romance.
Author: Kate Paddington
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Buckeyegrrl Design
Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
Mark Savoy and Daniel O’Shea were high school sweethearts who planned their forevers together. But when Mark went to college in California rather than follow Daniel to New York, he embarked on his own decade-long search for independence, sexual confidence and love. When Mark lands a job in New York and again crosses Daniel’s path, they slowly rebuild their fractured friendship through texts and emails. If they finally agree to see each other, will they be able to keep it platonic? Or will the spark of a long-lost love reignite just as Daniel accepts a job overseas? Platonic is a story of trials, growth and learning from the past in order to build a future.
Mark Savoy and Daniel O’Shea were boyfriends in high school who, despite professing their undying love and commitment to one another, ended up going their separate ways for college. Mark spends the next ten years growing up and trying to find out who he is and how to maintain solid relationships. When he happens to meet Daniel again in New York, they have both become different, new people and agree to reconnect as friends. However, with a shared romantic past that neither can forget, it may not be possible to remain platonic. If not, is there hope for a future as Daniel prepares to leave New York just as they’ve rediscovered one another?
I enjoyed Platonic’s authentic portrayal of the youthful ideals of teenage romance and how it can be extremely difficult to navigate those relationships without the necessary life experiences to do so. It accurately depicts the loss of love and the subsequent relationships and real life events that can occur between that loss and rediscovering it. The author draws a wonderful picture of the messiness of romance and how past hurts and regrets can impact our present even when we try our hardest not to let them – and how easily things can fall apart when they do.
Told in present tense from Marks POV, I loved how this story drew me into Mark and Daniel’s relationship as well as how Mark made new discoveries about himself during the ten years he and Daniel were separated. I was treated to snippets of the small details of their lives once they were reunited, and I appreciated the authentic feel of their initial reconnection through texts and emails. Gradually, they move to phone calls as their bond strengthens, and that also felt like a natural progression of the relationship. They stumble and struggle to understand how they drifted apart and what they are now to one another through dialogue that feels neither contrived nor accusatory. Rather, their interactions sound like a conversation that the reader is witnessing, a “talking to think” as they confess to being confused, insecure, and unclear about past motivations and actions. Mark and Daniel feel quite authentic as they are led by their emotions and react in unexpected ways. Their reunion does not feel scripted but beautifully imperfect as they struggle to determine what the next steps should be.
I do have to say that the sex scenes in this book are some of the steamiest I have read. Characters who are truly hot for one another and are determined to show it bring the most excitement to the pages for me, and I think this story contains possibly the hottest kiss I have ever seen between two male characters. Raw in sensuality and emotion, the intimacy here is hot and heady with realistic depictions of both its awkwardness and intense tenderness.
The arc of this story doesn’t seem to follow a more traditional pattern with a major climax and resolution towards the end. Rather, it follows a path of hills and shallow valleys, with the characters experiencing the more genuine highs and lows of life and relationships. The major hurdle to overcome extends for nearly the last third of the book, and perhaps that is why it felt that the ending kind of limped along a bit, never really reaching a crescendo and release.
Overall, Platonic is a delightful read full of honest emotions and situations. Mark and Daniel are lovable and sympathetic, and their story is romantic, compelling, and satisfying. I highly recommend it and will be searching out more titles from Kate Paddington in the future.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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