We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Contemporary
I’m so glad I chose to listen to this audiobook sequel to “Slide”. Where the first book left me confused, depressed, and sad, this one ended on a very positive note and was more hopeful and upbeat than the first.
Paramedic Pete Adams has been living with Ash Fagin for several years and he’s had to deal with the fallout from Ash’s struggle with recovery from his traumatic past. Ash had been living on the streets for years, supporting himself and his drug addiction by being a street artist. During the previous book in this series, Ash learned several unwanted truths and was forced into a confrontation with the man who had sexually abused him while he was in foster care. He also learned that he had a sister and that she may be the blonde woman his best friend Ellie pointed out to him in Philadelphia.
In this sequel, Ash and Pete are happy together. Ash is in therapy and is pursuing his art interests by enrolling in an art course while working at his tattoo shop. They have to move because their building is being sold, but they find a very nice place closer to Pete’s mom, and Ash can transfer to a different branch of the tattoo shop.
In the meantime, Pete is getting pretty burned out on his job and is thinking of taking a medic to nurse bridge course so that he can still be in a caring profession but not in the same life-threatening situations. It doesn’t help that his longtime partner has decided to go on an extended leave to reevaluate his own career. Then when working on the scene of a train wreck, Pete is critically injured, and both his and Ash’s worlds turn upside down. Though he recovers physically, his head injury is causing problems with his memory and his personality and he pushes Ash away.
Ash has recently discovered that his sister is not only alive but has moved back to Chicago and is actually the girlfriend of their friend, Joe. Though he refuses to acknowledge her at first, when Pete is injured, he turns to her for support and ultimately finds the family he never knew and thought he never wanted.
The struggles that Ash and Pete go through with acceptance of Ash’s sister and of Pete’s injuries and their implications make up the meat of this story, and it’s very well written. The narration is good, though occasionally the narrator spoke so quickly, his words ran together and I couldn’t pick up what he said. There weren’t as many flashbacks as the previous story either, and that helped with the narration since it was difficult to tell when the story shifted from the present to the past.
Overall, as I said at the beginning of this review, this was a much better story, with a great deal of angst and heartache, but with an equal amount of hope and joy, and the MCs were left with a bright future unfolding before them. I would recommend that readers plan on reading both stories, and though this can be read as a standalone, there’s so much material in it that relates to the first book, it really should be read in sequence. If you like hurt/comfort and angst-filled dramas then you should like this series. And, as in my last review, I’d recommend the e-book over the audiobook because the flashback scenes are difficult to pick out in the audio version.