Wow. A book hangover isn’t something that happens to me very often, even from my very favorite reads. But Melissa Collins gave me one hell of a hangover. When we first meet Dylan, he’s bound to his tragic past, not able to let his heart live again.
What follows is a stunning example of dual POV, and we learn the story of Dylan and his best friend and first love, Shane. My mind knew that I was reading the story of gay teenagers, navigating a new life, and that they would have many challenges facing them. My heart, however, was definitely not prepared for the struggles that these loving, wonderful men had to deal with. I truly loved these two together, and could feel the depth of their love. I wanted nothing more than to read the story of their long and happy life together. These were two good men, who had been through a lot in their young lives, and they deserved their happily-ever-after.
When it became clear that was not to be. I was sad. Then I was devastated. Then…I.WAS.PISSED. They were robbed, man! ROBBED.
Somehow, Melissa managed to heal my mangled heart. Meeting Connor gives Dylan a chance to finally make a life out of the ashes of his past. The beauty of their relationship was it’s pacing and believability. Connor and Dylan didn’t just meet & fall in love. They were cautious, and there were pitfalls, but in the end, each realized that the other was their mate. My heart warmed at the fact that Dylan was able to find another great love in his life.
Melissa Collins’ true strength in this book was the relationships she created between the characters. I wasn’t just reading about what happened to them from afar, I was invested in their story, to the point where I was literally unable to put the book down. I propped the book up at the sink while I brushed my teeth, and balanced it on the dryer while I was doing laundry. NOTHING could tear me away from this story.
Collins tackled some difficult subjects, and handled them with care and respect.The writing was real, raw, and intense. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes uplifting, this story impressed me from the first page to the last.
I’m so glad I got a chance to read this book. I wasn’t just entertained for a few hours. I was engrossed, I was moved. For me, it was all that is right in a romance novel.