Noah is an undertaker working in his family’s funeral home. He’s being groomed to take over the business when his parents retire. Noah was raised in a very strict, religious household and his parents are extremely homophobic. One night, at a restaurant while celebrating his father’s birthday, Noah’s sister Ruth’s fiancée, Liam, outs Noah by repeatedly asking him if he was looking at the waiter (of course he was). Noah confesses he’s gay and he’s disowned on the spot. He doesn’t know what to do, so he goes to the bar and gets drunk.
Fin was the waiter for Noah’s family gathering. He was offended by their words and actions, so he passes the table to his friend Eva and goes on a break. Later in the evening, he notices Noah and takes his keys so he won’t drive drunk. Fin is very passionate about this because his parents were killed by a drunk driver and now he’s the legal guardian of his eight-year-old sister, Olivia.
The next day, when Noah returns for his keys, he and Fin begin a flirtation that soon becomes a tentative relationship. Both men hold secrets from each other, and to make their fledgling love for one another work, they must try to move past them.
I grabbed Why I Need You after reading the blurb because I consider stories like this to be comfort reads. I love when an MC is taking care of a younger sibling, and I also love when an MC overcomes a major life issue and is able to fly. Unfortunately, this book fell flat for me and left me disappointed.
Let me start out by saying I felt the writing style was relatively smooth. The story is written in the third person with alternating chapters between Fin and Noah. Those transitions were nearly seamless and it was easy to know who each chapter is about and that is a positive. However, I didn’t feel any sort of connection to this book or either MC. I thought Noah, even though his family situation really messed with his head and shaped his personality, acted like a spoiled brat at times. He’d get annoyed if he didn’t get to spend the time he wanted with Fin when Fin had to work or take care of Olivia. Meanwhile, Fin refused to tell Noah his parents were dead and he wasn’t just babysitting Olivia, but he’s her guardian.
Thanks to these issues, it wasn’t easy for the men to open up to each other. However, one single conversation between them could have taken care of everything and I was frustrated (and a little bored) because the book began to drag. I felt as if the men were just going around and around and it seemed as it was never going to end. Thanks to this, I not only didn’t connect with the story, but I never felt invested in the love between Noah and Fin. When they declared their love for one another, I didn’t feel that excitement I usually get when I read about that first “I love you.”
There were a few background characters who played a role in Why I Need You. Fin had a lovely friend, Eva, who was supportive, and Noah had an equally lovely friend, Martin, who took him in when he was kicked out of the only home he ever had. Fin’s little sister, Olivia, was sweet, but I thought she was a bit on the obnoxious side. She came through for Fin, though, when things got really rough between him and Noah, so she did earn some points with me.
I don’t want to give away the major conflict that happened toward the end of the book. I will tell you I was angry at Noah and I started thinking Fin was too good for him. I was relieved when the issue was settled and the story ended. Speaking of the end, Why I Need You wrapped up exactly as I knew it would. That is fine because, as I said at the beginning, I consider stories like this to be comfort reads and I needed it to be that way…neat, tidy, and happy.
I didn’t hate Why I Need You. I would even recommend it to fans of angst and misunderstandings. I also wouldn’t have a problem reading any other books written by Colette Davison. This seems to be her second novel, and perhaps she’s going through some growing pains. They say third time’s a charm, and I’m willing to believe it.