Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Published: June 1, 2014
ISBN: 978 1 63216 076 8
Genre: Romance M/M
Book Format: E-book
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by: Helena Stone, firstname.lastname@example.org
Caleb McDonnell has the sort of past he’d rather forget and doesn’t want to share with others. He is thirty year old and worked in a fast-food restaurant while living in a tiny studio apartment. His real life takes place online where he has a few very close friends; people he has never met but trusts. One of them, Nicodemus, he’s even fallen for and although he can’t be sure he hopes that the feeling might be mutual. When Kevin, the man he considered his closest friend online turns out to have betrayed him, Caleb turns of his computer. Betrayed and unsure if he’ll ever be able to trust anyone again, he falls into a lonely black hole of depression.
Nicodemus Rokos has gotten very close to Caleb. He may never have met him, and time-zones may mean their contact is restricted, he has no doubts of the feelings he’s developing. When Caleb disappears from the internet and also refuses to answer Nico’s calls and messages, Nico feels as if his heart has been ripped out. Nicodemus is determined to try and save his relationship with the man he’s started to see as his boyfriend. It may be a gamble and will probably take a lot of time, but Nicodemus is determined to show Caleb love and trust do exist and that he’s worthy of both.
My feelings about this book are a bit mixed. On the one, positive, side I liked how it dealt with long distance friendships and relationships and the fact that we can never be sure that the person on the other side of our internet connection is indeed who and what they claim to be. The story shows beautifully how easy it is to fall into those relationships and believe that we truly know the people we’re dealing with. The sense of betrayal Caleb experiences is only too easy to imagine and is without a doubt regularly experienced by lots of people. The potential dangers of the internet, especially for vulnerable, lonely or needy people are enormous and unfortunately there are numerous people who would take advantage. It is an important message and I appreciated the way in which this story graphically described the risk, the sense of betrayal as well as the pain involved.
I wasn’t as impressed with Caleb’s reaction to the devastating betrayal. While I get the hurt he experienced and understand why that, especially when combined with his horrific past, would cause a meltdown, I ran out of patience with his endless crying and showering. His turn-around when it does come, while sweet, seemed to quick and easy after all the pain and distrust he’d been hoarding for weeks.
On the other hand, I did like the resolution when it came. I loved Nicodemus’ approach and patience and liked the way the story ended on an optimistic note.
My final verdict on this book is that it contains a story with an important message. I’m just sorry I had a hard time connecting to the characters involved. This is one of those books I expected and wanted to like more than I actually did.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.