RELEASE DATE: March 27th
BLURB: Life isn’t always fair, and that’s something that Llewellyn Gardner knows about first hand. His life was on the fast track until one night of extreme passion changed everything. Now eight years later, he’s still living with the aftershocks of that night. Everywhere he turns or runs, there’s another reminder. What the hell do you do when you try to drown your demons only to find out they can swim?
Shane Smith, Jr. owner of Smith Construction, could see the emotional turmoil within his new employee — it’s why he hired him. There was something about the gorgeous, misunderstood man with the overly expressive eyes that came to their small town with a past no one was willing to overlook. Shane could see the good in Llewellyn, and those eyes of his were a clear window to his soul. Shane wasn’t going to let the man live a future of solitude because his past had been plagued with deceit.
Llewellyn wasn’t sure what to think about Shane. After years of protecting himself from being tricked twice, he was now faced with worry again. What would happen to him if Shane didn’t believe his truth, and walked away? Llewellyn wasn’t sure he’d be able to survive being left alone. Again.
This is not an easy book to read, it made me angry (a lot) but it was also wonderful.
Even now, when writing this review, I’m still angry. I’m angry for all that Llewellyn endured.
But let’s start at the beginning – Llewellyn is an ordinary guy and is about to start college. He has been in love with Moss since school. Unfortunately, Moss’s father is the Mayor and they have to keep their relationship a secret.
Llewellyn has been betrayed, one of the worst betrayal’s possible – from a friend he never suspected was capable of such a thing and to make matters worse, he gets arrested!
I couldn’t believe what I had just read! I needed to find out what was happening, I read that first part of the book so quickly, I had to stop myself jumping pages, my anxiety for Llew was taking over!
He ended up getting 8 years in prison. When he is released, he is ready to rebuild his life, but the town’s people doesn’t make it easy for him.
He has always maintained his innocence, but no one believes him, only his brother remains close, but the town makes it hard on his brother too. He decides to leave and get a job elsewhere.
He manages to secure a position at Shane Smith, Jr., a construction company, but the rumours reach there too. However, Shane is different to all those other gossipmongers, he knows that the story doesn’t add up and the more he learns of Llew, the more suspicious he becomes of the rumours. Llew has other help as well, an old lady who he has rented an apartment above her garage. So all is not lost.
The feelings between Llew and Shane are very sweet, but Llew has deep psychological trauma caused by his stay in prison. He was in a particularly dangerous situation but was saved by another inmate, Ace, who also continued to protect him until his sentence was served.
Llew is an extraordinary person, he knows it will not be easy to rebuild his life, but with the aid and support of Shane, he knows he can do it.
This is a very angsty storyline, there was so many emotions running through me as I read it, but I really liked it. The first half of the book, I was plotting to kill Moss! the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away. I try to understand and justify the characters, but not this time! The stupidly and prejudices of these people made me furious, but there was also tenderness. The relationship between Llew and Shane was really good and let’s not forget Ace, the man who saved and protected Llew whilst in prison.
This is a stand alone book with the enviable hot scenes that we come to expect from A.E. Via, but they are in the right time-frame when looking back at the history.
I would love to know more, especially where Ace is concerned.
A.E. Via is a guaranteed read for me.