Llewellyn and Moss have been boyfriends for years, but it’s a secret. Moss’ father, the town Mayor, barely tolerates their friendship and Moss can never come out. The guys are set to attend the same college and Llewellyn hopes they can finally be together openly. Llewellyn has worked hard for his scholarship and he has all kinds of plans for his future mapped out.
Llewellyn learns in the worst imaginable way possible how unfair life can be when a hot night between him and Moss goes terribly wrong. The one person he loved betrays him and Llewellyn is railroaded to prison. Now eight years later, he is still living with the horror of that night. When he tries to return home, the locals are not welcoming and there is a reminder wherever he looks. With no choice left, Llewellyn moves to another town to try and find some peace.
Shane immediately notices Llewellyn when he arrives in town. As the owner of a construction company, Shane hires Llewellyn and offers him a chance to start over. However, when Llewellyn’s past becomes public knowledge, almost no one in town is willing to overlook it and Llewellyn continually struggles to find a place to call home.
Llewellyn can’t understand why good looking Shane is attracted to him. He knows when Shane hears the details of his past he will want nothing to do with him. After years of being alone, Llewellyn longs for physical and emotional contact, but can he take a chance that Shane will believe his truth when his life has been filled with deceit?
This book starts off very intense and the earlier pages are easy to fly through quickly. We get caught up with Llewellyn and Moss, who are the best of friends and secret lovers. Llewellyn has worked incredibly hard for his college scholarship and has so many plans. Then, in an unfathomable act of betrayal, Llewellyn gets wrongly convicted and sentenced to prison. I am not going to go into specifically what he gets convicted of as I feel that is best discovered within the pages of the book. However, it is the type of conviction that will forever have people taking a step back, or worse, from Llewellyn.
After Llewellyn gets out of prison he is understandably forever changed. He never had a chance to deal with what happened to him and his time in prison was not easy. He ventures to another small town, the kind of town where rooms are rented over polite conversation and pie rather than leases and deposits. One interesting aspect here is that the locals have no issue with Llewellyn, or Shane for that matter, being gay, but it’s Llewellyn’s conviction that turns people against him. Llewellyn is a big guy and now he tries to walk softer and speak lower to avoid startling anybody and to avoid any and all confrontation. This new demeanor he has adopted also goes against his natural instincts of being a dominant man.
Shane was a little harder to get a read on. He is attracted to Llewellyn and becomes instantly protective over him. He just feels that Llewellyn is a good guy even before he knows the entire story. There is not much offered on Shane himself, except for the basics of his family life and his business. It wasn’t his story, but I never felt that there was enough given to really get to know him. The relationship between the men is hesitant at first as Llewellyn has some definite intimacy issues, but they are resolved rather quickly. There is a secondary character, Ace, that becomes Llewellyn’s lifeline in prison. For most of the book, he is a mystery. The author chose to offer his story in the epilogue and, while I was interested in his story, the placement of it didn’t work the best for me. There was also the overarching story with Moss that played out as expected. I was just waiting for it to appear and eventually it did just that in a somewhat predictable manner.
Overall, I really enjoyed the pace and storyline of this book. Llewellyn was a good guy that had a terrible event take over his life and a fresh start and a second chance were well deserved.