Rating: 3 stars
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Simon is happy with his life the way it is. He never expected his past to come back to haunt him, but it’s here now and he doesn’t know what to do. When his sister hunts him down, Simon is at a loss. He’d never told his lover of five years, David, about his past or even about his real identity. Now it’s unavoidable and he’s not sure he can handle it other than to run, changing his identity and his life…again. But he doesn’t want to leave David. He’s not sure he can make it without David. But will David ever forgive him when he finds out the truth?
David is shocked to find out about his lover’s past – an abusive ex, a family that David never knew about, and a secret identity. But David is not one to turn his back on his loved ones, especially when times are hard. He knows that if Simon kept secrets he must have had a reason. And the reasons are worse than David ever imagined.
Taking care of Simon, watching him suffer flashbacks, afraid that Simon has one foot outside the door, David does everything in his power to support the man he loves and help him heal. But as the Christmas holiday looms nearer and Simon’s family wants desperately to see their son and brother who disappeared six years ago, Simon still fears that his worst nightmare will be lurking just around the corner.
So, where do I start? I liked this book. I did. I just feel like it could have been better. It seemed to drag by slowly throughout the entire read. It wasn’t boring, per se, just slow and a bit repetitive. I had a lot of expectations from reading the blurb, but the book didn’t really live up to those expectations. The story reads a little monotone for my tastes. It’s very “telling” – I did this. He did that. We went here. They said this. – which was a bit hard to read after a while. The plot is a really good one – a man on the run from his dark and dangerous past and years later it comes looking for him, threatening to destroy everything he’s rebuilt. Yeah, it’s a good plot. It just took a very long time getting there.
Of both characters, I have to say that I liked David the most. Understanding, forgiving, nurturing, and patient, David is the picture of a saint. He’s compassionate and caring beyond my understanding, but he is a really good character and exactly what Simon needs. Simon, on the other hand, got on my nerves for about eighty percent of the book. He was so mopey and whiny. Don’t get me wrong. I understand the PTSD angle, I just got mixed signals from him. One moment he was this strong, confident man and the next he’s complaining about how crappy his life has been. That being said, his fears did rule his life for a long time and his flashbacks are no joke, but I think I would have liked him better if he had been less whiny.
One of my biggest problems is with an inconsistency in Simon and David’s relationship. And if you haven’t read this book, you may not want to read the following because it does contain spoilers. [spoiler] For most of the book, David and Simon didn’t have sex. That’s not my problem. It was understandable because of Simon’s history and the past being dredged up, spinning his life out of control. And there were times when Simon pushed David to have sex, especially after revealing something particularly painful from his past, but David shut it down so that Simon didn’t do something he regretted, or something to damage his psyche even further. So when Simon finally gets it all out, tells the authorities, and tells David everything, suddenly it’s okay to have sex. Not only that, but Simon, who hasn’t bottomed in the past six years for fear of flashbacks, is suddenly ready to take a turn at bottoming after basically reliving everything painful detail that his ex put him through. And David is pretty much okay with it. It didn’t remain true to form for their relationship and Simon’s healing. It was disappointing. [/spoiler]
So, in the end, this is one of those books that I didn’t love, but I didn’t hate it either. I just think it had more potential than was actually shown. It may be for some people, but it wasn’t my favorite. But as always, the decision is up to you as the reader.