RELEASE DATE: 29th February 2016
BLURB: The only thing in Colin Mulligan’s life that makes sense is taking cars apart and putting them back together. In the auto shop where he works with his father and brothers, he tries to get through the day without having a panic attack or flying into a rage. Drinking helps. So does running and lifting weights until he can hardly stand. But none of it can change the fact that he’s gay, a secret he has kept from everyone.
Rafael Guerrera has found ways to live with the past he’s ashamed of. He’s dedicated his life to social justice work and to helping youth who, like him, had very little growing up. He has no time for love. Hell, he barely has time for himself. Somehow, everything about miserable, self-destructive Colin cries out to him. But down that path lie the troubles Rafe has worked so hard to leave behind. And as their relationship intensifies, Rafe and Colin are forced to dredge up secrets that both men would prefer stay buried.
Sometimes in a series, you get ones that are better than others, this of course could be personal taste, but for me, this author delivers every time.
Unlike some series, you must read book 1 and follow through, this storyline runs parallel with that book.
Colin is Daniel’s brother, the MC of the first book, he works in the car shop with his father and his brothers and he doesn’t have a life – he’s broken. The reason? He’s gay and he’s kept that secret for years and it has nearly destroyed him. In reality, he shouldn’t feel so ashamed and so alone, his brother Daniel is gay, so it shouldn’t be a problem, but it is.
He runs away from the problem by working and drinking too much. He’s reached breaking point, especially when he’s beaten up outside a bar. But then he’s rescued by Rafe.
Rafe would appear to be the opposite to Colin. He’s controlled and Colin starts to lean on him, step-by-step. When Colin is alone, the problems seem so great but when he is with his “rock” (Rafe) he feels secure.
Rafe is not perfect though, he’s an ex-con, because of some stupid mistakes he made years ago, but with the help of a good man he managed to escape from a bad situation and rebuild his life – a life he devotes to a program for LGBQT youth and also a program of support for prisoner who send books to people who are still in prison.
He tries to show Colin what his life could be if he stopped being so afraid. And Colin leans even more on him, maybe too much?
But what happens if Rafe is not as strong as we think? What if Colin’s problems and the way he runs away from them, threatens to ruin what Rafe has built? Can Colin be strong for Rafe? Can he fight for them?
This book was a page turner for me, it’s angsty, not over the top, but enough for my tastes, and I love angsty books. Colin, and all his family are a mess, if I had to describe them with a colour, it would be “grey”. After Colin’s mother death, his father never fully recovered, the family relationship consists of them working together, watching sport and drinking beer. Colin is oppressed and tormented.
At first, Rafe is far too controlled and well balanced. As the storyline progresses, we start to discover the real Rafe. He’s not perfect but he’s a good character. He fought hard to rebuild his life and wants to help others – -like someone helped him. But he has ghosts and this is what gave total credibility to the storyline. He’s real and human, which is shown in the mistakes he made.
We have two strong MCs, a lot of interesting secondary characters and a good plot which is realistic, I highly recommend this book.
**** The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press in Exchange of an honest review.****