I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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A rather good character study of two men, who despite their 20 year age difference and disparate socio-economic status, begin a relationship after meeting at their work.
I had a really difficult time liking Russ, the younger of the two. Though their upbringing was somewhat similar, both in rather poor conditions, there were some differences in their male role models, but Russ was very hung up on being equal to Stephen, the older man, and made some very poor choices because of that.
I could appreciate that he didn't want to be a gold-digger, or using Stephen for his money, but his refusal to let Stephen help him in any way, even if it meant his own safety, was rather off-putting and caused a bunch of issues in their relationship. Pride comes before the fall, as the saying goes, though I suppose Russ' behavior could possibly be explained by his immaturity and failure to see the big picture.
I felt that Stephen bent over backwards to accommodate Russ' hangups, though I wished that he'd come clean sooner about Jeremy and the pain he had experienced from that relationship. He was extremely patient with Russ, denying himself time and again to make sure the younger man didn't feel controlled or put upon, but failed to explain himself in a way that Russ could understand, which also led to issues in their relationship.
There were some moments where the two had honest discussions about things that bothered them in the relationship, and the plot progression allowed Russ and Stephen both to grow and change.
There was a side character (Russ' roommate) who had some great insights despite coming across as a bum for most of the time. Monty was an unknowing catalyst for Russ to pull his head out of his ass.
The author created a nicely crafted story line, with lots of UST and well done steamy scenes that didn't overwhelm or distract from the plot. The writing was descriptive and well-suited for this story.
Nicely done! My first read of 2015.