Brick by Brick by Cate Ashwood & L.J. LaBarthe ~ Book Review by Queue

BrickByBrickLGTitle: Brick by Brick

Author: Cate Ashwood & L.J. LaBarthe

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 06/29/2015

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance


They say that time heals all wounds, but losing Parley, his one true love, left Zach with a hole in his heart that no one else can fill. After forty-eight blissful hours alone together as teens in an abandoned house, Parley disappeared. Parley is what he is, and the pray-away-the-gay camp his parents ship him to won’t change that. However, finding the balance between accepting his true nature and not losing his family means tough sacrifices.

Sixteen years later, Zach is thunderstruck when Parley stands on the front doorstep of his house—the house that had been their refuge, which Zach restored. But Parley isn’t alone, and Zach wonders if he’s found Parley only to lose him a second time. If they can overcome the terrors of the past and the situation of the present, maybe they can build a new relationship just as Zach rebuilt the house—brick by brick.

My View:

Brick by Brick had been on my TBR list for some time but I kept putting off reading for some reason or another. I totally should not have done that. This book was completely fresh and original as well as sweet and romantic.

The book is basically in two parts. The first shows Zack and Parley as young adults, Zack is 18 and Parley is almost 18. The almost is the important part.

Parley’s family is ultra-religious not horribly abusive but far from loving. Zack wants to take off and leave town and invites Parley, but Parley originally says no. He soon changes his mind and before long the young men are off on their adventure.

Fate plays a hand in things and their car breaks down in front of an abandoned house they decide to squat in. Their time in the house isn’t especially realistic, but that didn’t matter to me at all. I loved seeing their relationship grow from friends to something more. Parley, in particular, changes the most. He learns to accept himself as gay and get past the religious doctrine drilled into his head. He also opens up to Zack about an event in his life. This scene was heartbreaking and I was as much in tears as Zack was.

Because Parley is not yet 18 his parents can force him to come home. Instead of laying low, Parley admits he is gay and is taken to a gay conversion camp.

This is where the second half of the book starts up. It’s 16 years later and Zack and Parley haven’t seen each other in all that time.

Zack is a successful businessman and still misses Parley. Parley has his own makeshift family and still suffers from the time spent in the conversion camp.

I don’t want to ruin too much of the story because how they meet was an awesome surprise. I was enthralled with the story from this point on. Seeing the men reconnect and explore what’s left of their feelings was so freaking awesome. Zack and Parley are totally adorable.

Their connection and love was so well-written it didn’t bother me when there was somewhat unrealistic dialogue. Anything negative in this book is totally overpowered by the positive.

If you like sweet romances this is the book for you.


Brick by Brick on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
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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