Rating: 4.5 stars
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Marco Ravel is a glass artist who is commissioned to create a new piece for a rich man living in the mountains an hour outside the city. Marco is thrilled with the job, especially once he meets the gorgeous Henrik Schweitzer. But Henrik suffers from agoraphobia, making him afraid to leave the grounds of his property and he has been a recluse for eight years. Henrik’s only companion is his cousin Gus, who also runs the family business. As much as he adores Gus, what Henrik really longs for is a real relationship with someone (not to mention to finally get to have sex!). But he has long accepted that this is not his fate, as he can not imagine anyone putting up with the restrictions of Henrik’s life hidden away on the mountain.
As it turns out, Marco is willing to do just that. He is drawn immediately to Henrik, and after lots of flirting, texting, and some hot phone sex, things become even more serious between them. But Henrik is also insecure, sure that at any moment Marco will realize he really doesn’t want to be with Henrik and deal with all the baggage that comes with him. But while Marco can handle Henrik’s reclusiveness, he becomes increasingly frustrated that Henrik is obviously keeping things from him and slowly starts to pull away. Not to mention Marco’s own fears as he realizes how fast and hard he is falling for Henrik, something that he never expected. The two men both love one another, but they must learn to talk to each other and share their feelings before they lose each other.
So those of you who are frequent readers can probably tell that the setup for this book hit all my buttons. I so adore a virgin hero! And not only a virgin, but one with almost no real life social experience with men or anyone else. Not to mention that I love a good damaged hero, drawn away from the world just waiting for his handsome prince to come along and see his true self (yay Beauty and the Beast trope!). So this one was so up my alley. And I just loved the early scenes as the men realize their attraction to one another, and Henrik opens himself up to the idea that this might be real, that there might just be someone out there that could want to be with him. And OMG, when these guys get together, it is crazy hot. I think Blue does a great job creating a character in Henrik who has a lot of vulnerability, but also is not a total wimp. Once he knows he wants Marco, Henrik is ready for sex and whatever else comes his way. He works hard to overcome his fears and is a strong guy despite his issues. And I found Marco really lovable, if a bit less developed. He is caring and sweet to Henrik, but never treats him like something weak or fragile.
The story slowed for me a bit toward the second half as the conflict developed. Part of it is that I had a hard time getting a handle on what all the fuss was about. Marco is upset because Henrik won’t tell him why he is upset. So he starts pulling back, which of course makes Henrik even more stressed and worried about what is going on. So while on one hand I was happy not to get yet another crazy misunderstanding or out of left field conflict, I felt maybe this one just needed a little more spark. Instead it seemed the guys drifted for a while in sort of a haze of not quite working rather than just talking to each other and resolving this seemingly small issue. Now I will say that the other conflict centers around Marco’s fears about how fast the relationship is moving, and how quickly he is falling for Henrik, so it is definitely not all a “sharing” problem. And considering Henrik’s incredibly limited social skills, it is not surprising that the guys would encounter some issues working through problems. So although it slowed the book down a little for me, I see where a lot of this is coming from.
One thing I really enjoyed about the story is the relationship between Henrik and his cousin Gus. The two grew up together in their grandparent’s house (where they now live together) and are incredibly close. Gus is a strong woman, gorgeous, smart, and the real leader behind the company. Without her Henrik would have been at a loss for all these years as she handles all the drives into town as well as most of the business and all the social interaction for the pair. I really liked them together and loved seeing such a nicely developed and sweet relationship between the cousins.
So overall I really liked this one. Loved Henrik and his sweet vulnerability mixed with his feistiness. I found he and Marco really hot together and I enjoyed the development of their relationship. I wished for a bit less time on the conflict between them, but still thought this was a great story that I would definitely recommend.