I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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This story had lots of potential that in the end didn't seem realized. Don't get me wrong; it started off really well, with Dean's heart-breaking backstory being explored, and losing his best friend/brother Dax, and then honoring his memory by becoming a pen pal with a soldier (Ryder) still on deployment - all that was nicely done.
It was interesting to watch their relationship and feelings for each other grow with each letter, correspondence that spans about a year.
Then when Ryder, the soldier pen pal, comes home after losing a leg, it sort of fell apart for me. At that point, Ryder tries to pull an Edward Cullen move, but Dean finds out and rushes to his side.
They struggle for a bit, with Ryder thinking everything he touches will break, including his relationship with Dean, and Dean's sperm donor and the woman who carried him are not done with him yet and raise their ugly, bigoted heads, but Mama Beth shuts them down real quick.
Dean's 'adoptive' family, especially Mama Beth, are really awesome, and they kept me interested in the book, even if they weren't fully fleshed out.
I didn't much like the various tropes employed here, including the one with Ryder's jilted secret lover who goes a bit mental toward the end, but if you don't mind that sort of thing, read on.
Overall the story is certainly sweet, HEA included, and mostly engaging, and YMMV as far as realism is concerned. Read it for what it is - a love story between a wounded soldier and someone who loves him no matter what, and you might enjoy this.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **