Leo Caldwell is a tech support geek, who only goes to a drawing class at the insistence of his best friend, Felix. Felix felt that he, Leo, and their other friend Julie really needed to get out of the house more. What Leo never expected was that the gorgeous man instructing the class would take and interest in him. Leo hasn’t had the best luck with men, but he decides to give Aud a chance and agrees to a date/sitting with him.
Aud Sorenson owns the Bright Thoughts Art Gallery and teaches art classes as well. Art has been his full time life for ten years and he loves it. When he spots the adorable Leo at his latest class, he immediately wants to sketch the man, and he’s thrilled when Leo agrees. Their first date goes off well, with a wonderful dinner, Aud sketching Leo, and then a intense and arousing make out session. They make plans to meet up again.
But as things heat up with Aud and Leo, it becomes clear that Aud has a stalker. And though Aud is pretty sure he knows who it is, there is no evidence. When things escalate, Leo has to decide if he wants to be apart of Aud’s life when there’s so much drama. Things go from bad to worse when Aud’s home is vandalized. On top of that, Felix is attacked in his own home. Leo doesn’t feel safe anywhere, but he knows how much he cares for Aud. But though events come to a violent head, the men know that they will find a forever together.
Okay, I’m going to start off by saying that there are some triggery things in things in this book, so beware if you’re particularly sensitive to them. While not shown on page, rape is discussed and it is a focus of a good portion of the story. There is also blatant stalking, so just be aware. I think the author handled this points, particularly the rape, with sensitivity and truthfulness though and that felt fitting.
Now, I came away from this book with some mixed feelings. I also enjoy this author, and I was pleased to pick up another story. I thought the plot flowed fairly well, and the characters were well developed and fleshed out. I would have liked a bit more from the romance storyline early on, but overall I think things worked well.
I loved both the main characters. Both Aud and Leo were such sweethearts. Just genuinely good guys. It’s not often that you read such believable characters who have this trait, as it often reads a little bit over the top. But these guys were both really nice and well rounded, and I was not only pleased that they found each other, but that they were building something together. Really, Aud and Leo just fit together and it made for a really nice romance. I had a little trouble toward the beginning of their romance, not because I didn’t think they worked, but because there was a lot of drama surrounding Aud, and I didn’t feel their connection quite enough to understand why Leo wasn’t just walking away. Ultimately, though, these guys were just lovely together.
The romance plot goes hand in hand with the stalker plot, and here I thought things were done well. Again, this could easily go over the top, but Marcus managed to portray it convincingly. It wasn’t a huge surprise who was behind things, nor what all he had done. It broke my heart a little bit, and the resolution seemed, if I’m honest, just a little too pat. But on the whole, I thought it was done well, and really blended with the story.
So yeah, I can definitely say that if the blurb intrigues you, then give this one a read. There are a couple of moments of predictability, but it’s well written and a nice read.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.