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Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted January 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Emotionally Intense With Compelling Characters

    As a fan of the m/m genre, and books that put you through the emotional wringer, I was immediately drawn to this story and its compelling characters. Upon turning the final page I found much to recommend it, as well as one or two quibbles, but will definitely read more from this author as she had a way of vividly depicting the small town world these characters inhabit which helped draw me in.

    Nick had a terrible childhood of sexual abuse and betrayal by the one who should've protected him. It's left him scarred both inside and out, with nightmares that visit him often, and unrelenting self-hatred and grief that have him constantly contemplating suicide. One night has him finding a kindred soul washed up on the beach that changes his life completely and gives him the strength to fight for his soul. When the story starts Nick is a broken man living in seclusion from a psychotic ex-lover who used his past to control him. Being with a man who truly listens and cares for him has him slowly coming back to life. He starts seeing the good things in life, learns the value of trust, and becomes a stronger more confident man who can save himself when the past comes back to haunt him.

    Owen too has been struggling with his past when he decides to end it all. Fate has different plans though when he's rescued by Nick who ends up rescuing him right back by giving him a reason to move forward. Owen's grief never felt as deep as Nick's as he hid behind a facade of humor and snarkiness. He accepted Nick unconditionally and never rushed him to do more or be more than he could handle. He ingratiated himself into Nick's life being the supportive lover but I didn't see as compelling of an evolution as I saw in Nick. His past didn't make him who he is, it was more a brief visit to the dark side.

    From start to finish this was an intensely sexual read where sexual healing occurred through the many hot and heavy sexual encounters between Nick and Owen. The scenes took on a more erotic and playful feel the more Nick worked through his past. Along with a complicated yet appealing main couple came a cast of secondary characters, among them another gay couple Nick's adoptive father Don and a cute Capuchin monkey, that overwhelmed the story at times and made for a bit of a lag in the middle of the story. Another disappointing part of the story was the reappearance of Nick's abusive ex Brad who was truly psycho and blazed a path of vile destruction throughout the book and whose comeuppance wasn't near satisfying enough. Ultimately I wish this story had stayed focused on Nick and Owen and their mutual recovery and the shared happiness they found in each other's arms. Their story was gut-wrenching and heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting and leaves me wanting to read more from this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    Great read

    I prolonged my reading of this book, because I didn't want to say goodbye to the characters. I was crying before I understood the full extent of their painful pasts, that's how connected I felt right away. I cried, laughed, cried while laughing. I loved the couples bantering and the crazy antics of the pet monkey. This story was so well written. I have enjoyed all of the books I have read so far. I would love to see nick and owen again. In the meantime I can't wait to read whatever is next from this must read author.

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  • Posted January 28, 2014

    I am not going to lie...I went into this book afraid to read it.

    I am not going to lie...I went into this book afraid to read it. A book that begins by knowing one of the characters dealt with extreme abuse is a book that generally is not for me. It becomes too stressful to read, and I cannot finish it.
    However, I read Susan Mac Nicol's previous book, Stripped Bare, and with several recommendations, I gave it a shot, and read it within a day. It was really an amazing love story. How Nick and Owen meet is rather different, but it just spoke so much about how that relationship needed to get started, as if by seeing each other's pain at that moment, they could meet each other on some common ground.
    Nick was difficult to say the least, and prior to Owen arriving, probably the only thing keeping him safe and sane was Socks (who was ADORABLE and key to the story!!!). But Nick persevered, and with the connection with Owen, a beautiful love story came through. Yes, there were parts that were somewhat difficult to read, but the reader was able to step back and see it as the path that got Nick to where he was in life, and how someone has open as Owen was able to bring them both back to the land of the living.
    There are not a lot of books that I read that I will say for sure I would read again, this is one. Ms Mac Nicol managed to take a story that was terrifying at the thought of reading it, and making it such a wonderful love story, I really couldn't have appreciated more.
    Truly beautiful...oh, and bring your tissues, because you WILL laugh, and there may be a point where you laugh until you cry, that cheeky monkey. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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