I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
You can also find me on my main blog.
I read this book at the request of the author who provided me with a free copy for review.
I had no idea what to expect, really, other than a romance developing between a history teacher (Henry) and his student (Ruben). The age-gap was initially a bit of concern, but as I got past the first chapter or so, I didn't think much about it any more. Though Henry does, of course.
It was fascinating to watch these two very different men, one young and impetuous, the other older and much more cautious, and how they acted with one another. Initially, it seems that Ruben views Henry as another conquest, but that's not really the case. And Henry, struck by Ruben just the same, is always very aware of how inappropriate his reactions are, and doesn't act on them until after Ruben is no longer a student of his. So, nothing untoward here.
The writing style is very different from my usual romance fare, and switching between Ruben's and Henry's POV, but in such a manner that was not jarring, but fascinating. Some of you may not like the POV switches, or the fact that this book is written in the present tense, which can make a story feel breathless - and which is not the case here. In fact, I think if it were written in the past tense, it would not have had the impact on my emotions that it did. Watching Ruben panic and flee after the intense weekend he spends with Henry, and watching him slowly come into himself and figure out what he wants and needs - magical to watch unfold.
The supporting cast in this book, including Henry's jerk of a literary agent, was also well done, and sufficiently fleshed out to not become cardboard characters. They fit seamlessly within the plot, and provided on occasion the catalyst for character growth, especially as far as Ruben is concerned.
The title of this book plays on the articles Henry writes, first for a newspaper column, then in book format, and I thought them to be rather interesting. To look at everyday objects and create stories around them, stories that put meaning into these objects - that was rather unique content, one that I really appreciated.
There is little steam here, though it'd be silly to ignore this book for that reason. What matters most to me in any romance is the emotional connection between the main characters, that their romance is believable, and that they touch me in some way, that they bring out my own emotions as well. Sexy times, while certainly appreciated, are not required for my enjoyment level. And emotions - this book has them in droves. They fly right off the pages, and I fell for Ruben just as quickly as I fell for Henry. And while the characters spend little time together on page, you can see the connection they have, the strength of it, even while they're apart.
Their relationship, even though derailed for a while, due to Ruben needing to grow up a bit and figure things out, and due to Henry being patient and understanding that all he might get is just that one weekend with Ruben, still grows and grows. Even if neither has any idea whether the other feels the same way, even if they don't reunite until almost the end. They both understand however that what they have is worth fighting for, and fight for it, they do, with Ruben going after what he wants, and Henry realizing that he can have Ruben for good if only he is brave enough to reach for him.
Beautifully written, highly engaging, and definitely recommended. Get yourself a copy of this and savor every single word inside. The many unique aspects of this book are well worth your time.
** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **