Published: August 13, 2014
ISBN: 978 1 62798 956 5
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Coming of Age, M/M
Book Format: E-book
Obtained via: Reviewers own
Reviewed by: Helena Stone, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie Stallon hasn’t had it easy. After years of abuse at his father’s hands he’s now living in a foster care facility. He’s studying for his final exams in high school and volunteering in an animal shelter in his spare time. When Laurie meets Dr. Sam Davies, the shelter’s new veterinarian, he feels an instant attraction but can’t be sure if the feeling is mutual or even if the vet is also gay. Laurie and Sam soon become friends at work and it isn’t long before Sam admits he’s also attracted to Laurie. The younger man’s hopes are instantly dashed though, as Sam rejects the idea of a relationship because of the age difference and Laurie’s perceived immaturity.
When Laurie goes out dancing for his eighteenth birthday he’s feeling rejected. What should have been an innocent flirtation turns into a viscous attack and Laurie ends up in hospital, severely traumatized. Sam, realizing that Laurie needs someone to look after him, brings the younger man home where they slowly and very carefully develop a relationship. It isn’t long before the doubts and insecurities Laurie and Sam still hold clash. Both of them will have to put all their trust in love and each other if they want to have a future together.
What can I say? This is the sweetest of love stories. I dare anyone to meet Laurie and not want to adopt him, give him a huge hug and make sure he’s safe. Everything the boy has gone through and encounters in the story is enough to break your heart. It is completely understandable that he awakens all sorts of protective instincts in the 10 year older Sam Davies.
One of the things I really liked in this book is that Mari Evans made both characters multi-dimensional.
While Sam is clearly older, wiser and more emotionally stable than Laurie, he is by no means perfect. Occasionally, his emotions take over when reason should reign, which makes him a relatable character.
Similarly, it would have been easy, and believable, to write Laurie as a typical victim, either completely hiding in his shell or stand-offish. The fact that she gave him a sunny disposition to counteract his fears and insecurities made him all the more adorable as a character.
The fact that Laurie is in a lot of ways grown up for his age while Sam is not quite as grown up as he likes to think also makes the relationship between the two of them more believable.
I wasn’t quite as charmed with the way the book was written. I would have liked to have gone deeper into the characters. While all their thoughts and emotions are described in clear and at times beautiful language I often couldn’t ‘feel’ what they were going through. I am however willing to concede that this may be a result of personal preferences rather than the author’s ability to tell a good story and am sure that the tone of writing will work perfectly for other readers.
Summarizing this was a sweet and ultimately uplifting love story featuring two endearing yet realistic protagonists. This book is Mari Evan’s debut and I for one will be keeping an eye on what she’ll bring us next.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.