I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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I don't really know how to write up a coherent review for this amazing book. It slayed me. It slayed me, it made me ugly-cry, it made me rage, and it made me smile at the end.
Kyle Decker and Jesse McGovern are young, in love, and moving into their own apartment at the beginning of this book. Soon after, the Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage the law of the land, and in their joy, the two men become engaged. Equality rules, and love has won. Pride celebrations are two days later, and they're out with friends, enjoying themselves. Life is wonderful.
Until it isn't.
Until a savage homophobic attack on their way home lands both of them in the hospital and completely derails their lives.
The book deals primarily with the aftermath of that attack. It deals with guilt, with fear, with anger, with a relationship under a massive amount of strain, but it's also about healing, recovery, leaning on family and friends, making your own family, standing up to family, and fighting for the one you love. Seeking justice against the odds. Facing your demons. Confronting your fears. Crawling, sometimes just by sheer will, out of that hole you find yourself in.
AJ Rose crafted a powerful book, one I couldn't stop reading, mesmerized and so very moved until the very last page. Her sensitivity in handling the vicious attack and its aftermath, her eloquent insights into the impact the attack has on Kyle's and Jesse's lives, the careful way she explored each man and let us see inside their heads - it was spell-binding. Evocative writing, realistic portrayals of pain and fear and anger and heartache, and the underlying strength to keep going, to claw your way back out of the hole - I don't really have words to explain what this book did to me. It's going straight on my Best of 2016 list.
The story depicted within could happen and does happen in this country and all over the world. Every day. It can happen to anyone, simply because of who they are and who they love. It could happen to you.
Read this book, I beg you!
** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **