I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Now, I loved Tyler. He’s a very caring and forgiving person, almost naïve, and yet he has an inner core of steel. He’s not afraid to stand up for the ones he loves, and I loved how he stuck around and helped Marty when most people would have given up on him. He’s also a very open character. You always knew what he was thinking and how he was feeling, which definitely helped me connect with him. At first, he was a bit of a pushover and naïve, but by the end, he was a strong, confident man and I think he’s a great match for Steven. And now I wish I had a boyfriend like Ty. Now on the other hand, Steven is an enigma for most of the book. I had a hard time connecting with him for a large part of it. When I think of Steven, I think of the Katy Perry song “Hot and Cold,” because that’s what he was for a big part of the book. Part of it is due to his big secret, but I would have liked to learn more about him and thoughts. However, by the end of the book, I liked and admired Steven a lot. He’s a hard worker, a survivor, and an honest man to boot.
For the secondary characters, Marty was a bit of a surprise to me. I totally was not expecting him to be (an apparent) paranoid schizophrenic. I liked his character, but didn’t get to see very much of him, so can’t really say much about him. Libby, on the other hand, is my second favorite character after Ty. Imagine the perfect best friend you have or wish you had. You know, the one that would fight an army to help you, would do anything for you, would wake up in the middle of the night if you called them, etc.? The one that’s not afraid to tell you when you’re being an idiot and who’s not afraid to push you? Well, that’s Libby in a nutshell. She’s a great friend to both Steven and Tyler and I especially liked her because a lot of the m/m books I read, whenever there are female characters, they’re usually the villains or they’re only in the book for part of it, or they’re the annoying best friend. Libby is no one of these, so it’s nice to see a female character portrayed so well.
Now Jake was one interesting villain. By the end of the book, I didn’t know whether to hate him or pity him. My first impression was that he was a jerk and I wanted him to die miserable and alone, but by the end, I kind of felt sorry for him. I think there could be redemption for him down the line, but at the same time I feel like that’s impossible. These are kind of like the ambivalent feelings I had for Loki at the end of Thor, and we all know how well that turned out in the Avengers, so not sure what ending Jake will have.
Now, I have one big problem with this book and that’s Steven’s secret. His big secret is hinted at for most of the book, but he doesn’t tell Tyler till the end, which I wasn’t a huge fan of. He told his secret and then a few pages later, the book ended. I would have loved to see more of their relationship and how they proceeded after the revelation. Also, it felt like there were a few loose ends, such as Jake, left to be resolved. Now, it seemed like the ending was leaving it open for a second book, which I would love to read.
All in all, I greatly enjoyed this book. It was a bit of an unusual read for me and a bit of a risk, and I’m glad that I took it. It wasn’t too sappy and corny, and another aspect that I enjoyed is that it’s not full of sex. I’m not a fan of books that throw in tons of sex scenes to show that the characters like each other. Heck, they don’t have sex most of the book, which I thought was pretty neat and unusual. And when they did have sex? H-O-T, HOT! Man, it was intense. Anyways, I enjoyed getting to see their relationship develop and to see them overcome some of their problems. This is a great book that I would highly recommend, and I can’t wait to go read more of Ms. Samm’s books.