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Hearts On Fire Reviews

We read and review for the love and joy of books.

Cate Ashwood and L.J. LaBarthe – Brick By Brick

Brick by Brick - Cate Ashwood, L.J. LaBarthe

Reviewer: Barb

Genre:M/M Contemporary


his was a sweet story about two young men, Parley and Zach, who decide they need to get away from their town and their families as soon as they finish high school. Zach, a jock who befriended Parley when Parley agreed to tutor Zach in their senior year, is the more adventurous of the two. He buys a car with his $300 life savings and asks Parley to go with him. Where are they going? Anywhere, but here. Zach wants to make his mark on the world, but not by going to college. He wants to work with his hands, and he wants his independence, but more than anything, and though he doesn’t tell him, he’s fallen in love with Parley and wants to make him a home.


The first half of the story is devoted to the few days the boys manage to have alone in an abandoned house they’ve found in a small town not far from where they live. Unfortunately, both sets of parents have reported them missing, and since Parley is only seventeen, when the cops find them, they haul Parley back to his family. The problem is that Parley’s family are religious zealots who believe they ca “pray the gay away” and send Parley to Sunbeam Farm, a place guaranteed to drive the sin out of him.


Sixteen years later, Zach is still in love with Parley. In the intervening years, Zach has built a workworking business and is a successful entrepreneur and owner of the house in which he and Parley stayed all those years ago—the house where he almost got to kiss the love of his life. Imagine his shock when he opens the door one day to find Parley standing on his porch—Parley—and his family!


It seems that both men have looked for the other over the years, though Zach has spent more time trying to find Parley than vice versa. Parley has been a world-traveler, working for a Christian organization and traveling with this partner and best friend Veronica and the two children she adopted overseas. Parley had no idea who now owned the house where his most treasured memories occurred, but he knows he has to get permission for his family to walk around and look it over while he tries to cope with the memories of his past.


When he sees Zach at the door, he’s just as shocked as Zach is, but of course, the story would be finished too quickly if there weren’t misunderstandings between the men, and the authors do a great job giving us a wonderful story, despite the misunderstandings. I forgave them quickly since they didn’t make me suffer needlessly through unnecessary extra “fluff” pages as some authors do.


I recommend this to those who enjoy an M/M romance with two sweet men, those who like stories about lovers reunited, and those who like to see their MCs prevail over religious persecution. Parley is a survivor, and Zach is there to help him rebuild his life “brick by brick.”

Source: http://heartsonfirereviews.com/review-cate-ashwood-and-l-j-labarthe-brick-by-brick