We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Romance
Where to start? Hmm, I guess I’ll start my review by saying that it’s likely that if you are reading this review you’ve read the other stories in the “Something Like” series since this is number six. And, like you may have done for books two to five, you are getting psyched for an emotional, gut-wrenching, tearjerking, smile-generating journey to whatever destination Jay Bell has decided to take you to this time. Well, get ready because it’s a doozy. You are about to embark on the path to Nataniel’s and Kelly’s HEA, but fasten your seatbelt because it’s a bumpy journey through some twisting and turning life paths and some dark and scary places. And be prepared to say hello to a character or two from other books and for some surprising connections between characters who pop up from the past when you least expect it.
Nathaniel Courtney and Kelly Phillips are trapped together in a penthouse apartment as the story opens. The perpetrator of the prank is none other than Nathaniel’s boss, Marcello Maltese, the charismatic, manipulating fellow who was a strong influence on Tim Wyman in “Something Like Winter”. They’re trapped there because Marcello believes that Nataniel needs this chance to win Kelly back after he pushed him away in “Something Like Lightning”. And Nathaniel is finally ready to try by revealing his truths to Kelly—truths which he had previously refused to share.
We’re taken back in time to Nathaniel’s senior year in high school when he meets Caesar Hubbard for the first time. And we witness just what is going on in Nathaniel’s house as he’s beaten by his brother to the point where he fears sleeping at night. Then he learns the shocking truth about his true parentage and finds out that his father has been abusive to his mother. It’s an emotional powder keg at home and the connections to his father and brother are irreparably damaged.
We see the situation with Caesar and the Hubbard family from his perspective, including the final damning scene when he’s kicked out. And we see how he and Caesar reconnected and ended up at Yale together, but we learn what happens to drive them apart and the betrayal by his best friend, Rebecca, is heartbreaking.
It’s also life-changing, and Nathaniel finds himself working for Marcello and taking on a friendly, goofy dog that he names Zero. Zero plays an important role in Nathaniel’s life. He becomes his best friend and confidante, his reason to keep going at a time when he needs that most. Zero is there when Nathaniel and Kelly break up, when he rescues his sister-in-law and nephew from his abusive brother, when he learns truths about his biological father, and when he finally heals the relationship with Heath, the man who raised him.
Zero is also there when Kelly rejects Nathaniel even after being locked in that penthouse apartment and pouring his heart out with honesty and truths he’d never previously spoken. And it’s Zero who actually brings them back together when he’s critically hurt and about to be euthanized.
Jay Bell is a master storyteller. The plotlines and subplots interwoven throughout this story, the connections to past characters and events, the emotional mind-blowing, heartwarming and heartbreaking experiences that the author forces the reader to go through is unquestionably superb. I highly recommend this story to all lovers of M/M romance. If you’ve read the others in the series, don’t miss this one. If you haven’t, by all means get started with “Something Like Summer”. This series is on my all-time favorite series short list. I hope it will be on yours too. I can’t wait for the next installment. Whose story will be featured? Caesar? William? Jason? Whoever it is, I’ll be first in line again.