Author: Kay Ellis
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Devon Alexander is a wealthy successful businessman. The world is his oyster. In his work life he is decisive and in control.
His private life is another matter.
There, he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going in his on-off relationship with Jesse Young, an unemployed aspiring model half his age.
Can Devon and Jesse overcome the obstacles and outside influences standing in their way? Can they leave behind their own fear and mistrust? Or will they be their own worst enemies?
I either loved this book and admire the author for her ability to make me care about these two broken characters. Or… I hated it, and I can’t believe the author made me care about two characters that don’t know how to have a relationship or a backbone. Sitting here, almost 5 hours after finishing Young at Heart by Kay Ellis, I am still not sure what camp I am in.
I think there will be readers firmly in both camps, to be honest. There are going to be readers that can not stand Jesse. Those who will be unable to forgive him for being a fragile, scared, abused boy just trying to make in the world. Those who will take his actions as those of someone unworthy of Devon.
There will be readers who will only see Devon as spineless. As someone who gives up too easily and then forgives too quickly. One who lets their friends and family manipulate them and dictate too much of their lives. One who is way too old to have a 19-year-old boyfriend.
In the other camp will be readers who can’t see Devon and Jesse with anyone but each other. Who will have their heart repeatedly broken while reading their fumbling attempts to have a relationship. Who will hope with their last breath that Devon will see past the lies he is told to the real Jesse. Hope that Jesse will be able to trust in Devon with everything he is.
Whichever camp I am in, I have a sincere loathing for Antonio and Erica. I am not sure how Devon was blinded by them for forty-one years. It makes Devon’s judgement quite suspect in my eyes. We are told that he was a ruthless business man before Jesse came into his life, but we never see that side of Devon. I agree that Jesse messes up, repeatedly, and I know there will be those unable to forgive those indiscretions. There was a point that I was unsure if I would.
There were a few times throughout Young at Heart that facts or events were thrown in without explanation. These events didn’t feel organic to the story and served only to interrupt the flow. Almost like the author was told “this doesn’t make sense” so she threw in a bit of backstory to explain it without working that bit of information into the plot itself. For example, I never understood the friendship between Antonio and Devon. We are repeatedly told that Antonio is Devon’s best friend, but we are never shown any reason this is the case.
I think the heart of the issues can be summed up by the fact that we are often told important bits of information and expected to believe them and understand them to be true. However, we are never shown the context to allow us to form a complete opinion. As such, whether you love Jesse and Devon or hate them, there is a maturity that is lacking in the writing. That lack of sophistication also serves to prevent me from fully understanding and empathizing with Jesse and Devon as characters.
Even though they get their happily ever after, I am not sure that they deserve it. I am left with a sense that they won’t last because I haven’t been shown a reason they should.
I believe Kay Ellis will continue to improve her craft as she matures as an author. I would love to read more from her to watch that development.
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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