Author: Alexa Land
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Can two damaged men build a future together from the shattered pieces of their lives?
Gianni Dombruso’s life was altered forever at the age of four, when his parents were murdered and he and his brothers went to live with their grandmother, the irrepressible Nana Dombruso. Now almost thirty, Gianni has spent his life bouncing from relationship to relationship, seeking but never finding the security and stability he so desperately craves.
Alexzander Tillane was one of the biggest pop stars in the world when he walked away from it all in the middle of a concert in 2002. Almost destroyed by the pressure of fame, Zan retreated to a life of quiet solitude in an effort to heal. But the cure backfired, leaving him with more issues than answers.
Zan knows he can’t give Gianni the stability he’s looking for, not with all his problems. He can’t even imagine why the beautiful younger man would want to get involved with someone so damaged, but the heat between them can’t be ignored. Giving in to it could be a huge mistake. Or maybe both men might end up right where they belong.
Approximately 98,000 words. Please note: contains explicit language and graphic sex. For ADULTS ONLY.
Reading a book from the Firsts and Forever series is like spending a night in with your best friends. There are certain expectations I have with this series and Alexa Land never fails to meet them. I had to stop reading at only 2% in as I could no longer see the words on the page for laughing so much. Nana, in my opinion, has got to be the most iconic female in the MM genre and Cockhenge was just hilarious. This glorious 80 year old woman who defends her family, whether blood or not, is the lynchpin of these stories.
It would be very easy to stereotype the Dombruso boys having been raised within a mafia family and knowing some of their pasts as we do. Gianni is nothing like I expected, he was far more vulnerable, sensitive and unsure of himself. He had certain expectations of himself and his life none of which were very high. He was ok with people treating him poorly as that was what he felt he deserved. The fact that his lovers were always older, saw him as arm candy and liked him to take on a submissive role without complaint only compounded his low self-esteem.
We learnt quite a lot about Zan in Christian’s story. At the peak of his career he walked off stage in front of thousands of people and remained hidden for the next decade. As we learn even more in Belonging we discover just how close to the edge he was but the solitary lifestyle that he yearned all those years ago to help him recover is now the thing keeping him a prisoner and preventing him from living. It has been so long since he had any real human contact that no one knows for sure just how bad his symptoms are. He is certainly still depressed but is it illness keeping him locked away or is it just habit and familiarity.
Neither of these men have any real relationship experience and both are set in a pattern of waiting for the other to make the first move. When neither of them do and signals are mixed up and misread Gianni reverts back to form and takes up an offer from an older man that he believes will look after him. This proves to be the push that Zan needs as he jumps on his lawnmower and makes a move to claim his man.
Nothing could have prepared them for the chaos that ensues when the public find out Zan is alive and well after all these years. Zan is panicked at returning to the real world whilst determined to claim back his life in order to have Gianni at his side. Gianni, who has only ever wanted someone to look after him, has to grow up quickly and assume a new role and realises that he can also be the strong one when required.
Along with Zan and Gianni we also get a glimpse into the lives of the rest of the family and nana as always is standing up for her family in full technicolour!
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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