After a traumatic assault, Scott Riley has spent the last three months working to put his life back together. His rapist texts him daily and Scott is struggling to break free of the nightmare that seems to follow him. But taking a new job with Ross Nelson proves to be a step in the right direction. Not only does Scott enjoy the work, Ross is a kind employer and offers up his friendship without strings attached. That’s something Scott hasn’t had for a long time.
Ross knows Scott is dealing with something painful and when the man finally trusts him enough to tell the truth, Ross is determined to help. He can’t protect Scott from everything though and as his rapist turns to stalking, the danger heightens. In the midst of chaos, Scott and Ross explore the chemistry between them but Scott’s past may keep them ever being together.
Trust Me is one of the few books I’ve read that deals with the topic of male rape. It’s a subject that isn’t often discussed, but desperately needs to be. So let me start off by giving Trust Me kudos for tackling something so painful, yet so important. Unfortunately, the book fails to create a believable plot or characters that engaged me as a reader. Ross is the strongest character and comes with a harsh past all his own. And while he never comes off the page as a fully formed creation, he is sweet and kind. Almost excessively so, though that’s probably my natural cynicism bleeding through. I wanted to like Scott so much more than I did. My heart broke for all that he endured, but his unwillingness to stand up for himself was hard to take. I understand that this is a product of the trauma he went through, but it was still difficult to really like him.
The relationship between Scott and Ross is borderline insta-love. Within a day of meeting one another Scott confides in Ross, though he hasn’t told anyone else in his life. And in the blink of an eye, they are moving in together. The sexy fun times between Ross and Scott are passionate, but they never feel like a real couple. Also, we are told that Scott flinches at touch, which makes perfect sense, but then he has absolutely no hesitation about becoming intimate with Ross. That seems at odds with what we are told about his post-traumatic suffering.
There is a bad guy to contend with and he is comically bad. Which is a shame because this detracted from what Scott endured. Instead of making the antagonist a monster we could believe, we are given a stalker that comes off as over the top and cartoonish. Rather than sinister, he seems ridiculous despite the horror he inflicted on Scott. Had he been a more believable character, his ruthless pursuit of Scott and Ross would have been truly terrifying.
Trust Me tackled a tough subject and did it with a measure of grace. But weak and inconsistent characters failed to make the impact that the subject deserved. It was a start in the right direction towards opening a dialogue on both the public and private response to male rape. And even though Trust Me didn’t achieve all that it could have, I still applaud it for addressing the problem.