I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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So, this turned out to be not at ALL like what I expected. Instead, it blew me away with the images and emotions and themes, and I can't even begin to tell you how this book made me feel. At least not yet. Gah, the characters inside are soooo flawed, but so real...I don't even have words.
Kerry has had a hard life. Bounced from foster home to foster home after losing his parents, he has known very little stability. He works part time at a nursery, lives with a room mate, and more or less doesn't expect anyone to love him - abandonment is all he really knows. The only person who didn't abandon him was his last foster father, a strong, steady man. Kerry hasn't been in touch with him in a while, because he fears the disappointment after dropping out of college.
Therefore, it's no wonder that he keep secret getting involved with a man who's not out, nor will be, and when this young man drops him at a party, in favor of the beard, Kerry drowns his sorrow in alcohol while stumbling along the beach.
And then nearly drowns himself, if it weren't for Malcolm and Charles, who find him right before the tide washes him out to sea and take him home. An established couple for 15 years, the two older men are close and have somewhat of a Master/slave relationship.
Based on the blurb alone, I expected a very different story. And yet, this was 100 times better than what I expected.
The characters were all flawed, not only the three main ones, but also the side characters, including Kerry's ex-lover. The relationships are deeply explored, each character needing to figure out what changes need to be made, and what is making them act the way they do.
All three main characters have to do some deep soul-searching in this book. The author richly describes the pitfalls and triumphs, the pain and joy, and the determination of three men to forge something that cannot be torn apart by jealousy or fear.
It was a ride like nothing else I've read before, and I cried and rejoiced with them. It's about the family you make for yourself, the people who love you for who you are, and how courage is not the absence of fear but overcoming that fear.
A wonderful, deeply engaging book that I won't soon forget.
** ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press. A positive review was not promised in return. **