Author: Ashavan Doyon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 03/04/2015
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
Sam’s Café Romances: Book Two
Having survived one nightmare of a relationship, Justin Tesh thought he’d left the worst behind when he put his ex Peter behind bars. But when his new lover, Russell Pine, explodes in a fit of alcohol-fueled rage, Justin finds himself frozen with a fear he thought he’d long since worked through. While older, more experienced Russ is anxious to put the incident behind them, avoiding personal issues never works, and for Justin, his fear is an open doorway to demons both he and Russ need to confront.
Despite their histories of loss and pain, Russ has faith in the promise of their relationship. But if he can’t heal the wound he’s inflicted on his lover’s heart, he risks losing Justin forever to Peter’s legacy of brutality.
NOTE: This book is heavy on content dealing with healing from past sexual and domestic abuse and may trigger some folks.
This book was a hard one for me to read. It was so full of broken men trying to heal and failing and unintentionally hurting each other. It kept me on that edge of tears. You know that point where your heart hurts and it will only take one more thing to unleash the flood of ugly tears? Yeah, I was there from word one.
Justin and Russell needed help badly. They were two very dysfunctional men trying to heal each other but refusing to take that next step in healing themselves. It turned them both into hot messes who wound up hurting the other and making things worse for themselves. Their desire to be strong for each other was more harmful than good and it almost cased these men to self destruct.
But the author took such care with these men. They opened up. They hurt. They cried. They were unapologetically emotional. And they WERE NEVER ONCE PERFECT OR FIXED! That is very important to me! The author never once tried to fix these men, never once tried to have them fix themselves, never once had their love fix their wounds. Instead the author focused on how to build a life together that included ways to live with and heal from the past. Not erase the past, but use it to make a better future!
And it was not accomplished during the duration of this book. The author set up a case for healing and set up the framework for a long hard journey into the future. These men started broken and ended broken, but broken with love and a path forward.
This story is 5 stars all the way for me. It is hard to read and touches on a lot of hard topics. But it was handled with utmost respect and care and I loved the way the author presented these men and their journey and I feel confident that their lives will be hard and miserable for a while, but that they will love and heal and grow as a couple that will form lifelong, unbreakable bonds. Or at least I hope that is the case and I will be reading book three ASAP to make sure my hopes are confirmed!
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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