We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Contemporary
When Bradley Zelder’s truck breaks down on his way home from a date, he’s dismayed to be offered help by a BMW-driving, attractive, well-spoken man. He figures that’s all he needs, after striking out with another woman again, failing to complete his college plans, and taking work as a school custodian. What more could go wrong? Right? Well, of course that’s not true in fiction. He likes the guy who rescued him and enjoys spending some time with him.
Caleb is sweet and sexy, kind and friendly, though he’s reluctant to get involved with Bradley or with anyone. He’s a widower, having lost his husband several years before, and he’s only recently started to feel like himself again. The two start to see each other, and ultimately begin a relationship, but just as things start to look good for them, Caleb is injured in a brutal attack. It pushes him back into fear and depression, a place where he feels safe, but Bradley is determined to help the man he realizes he loves and forces Caleb to accept the help. The balance of the story is about their relationship and Caleb’s daily struggles to come back from depression, sprinkled with a lot of “I’m not good enough” angst from Bradley.
This story needed to be cut by about a hundred pages. It was full of self-doubt and angst and reverting to past behaviors over and over again. The narrator was okay, but the voice he gave to Caleb was so “damsel-in-distress” when combined with the author’s narrative that I nearly didn’t finish the story. All I could picture was Caleb with the back of his hand to his forehead being all clingy to Bradley who wanted so badly to be a knight in shiny armour but constantly worried that it was tarnished.
Sadly, when the villain was finally going to be revealed, there was less than 5 minutes left (after 8 long hours) so I felt very disappointed that many of the clues, which were dropped for readers/listeners early in the story, were never fully explored by the MCs and were glossed over in the finale. This story had so much potential, but it didn’t live up to it for me.
So, needless to say, it was okay, and I’m sure many people who enjoy angst will like it, but that’s about all I can say to recommend it. I would recommend reading it instead.