An act of hatred and violence left Enzo without his hearing. His world changed quickly, which included the loss of his high school boyfriend, Florian, when they lost contact. Years later, Enzo moved forward with his life and a great job, but when his boyfriend of three years cheated on him and left him, Enzo was left with a broken heart for the second time.
Florian was thrown out by his parents when they learned he was gay and staying with a friend helped him graduate high school. He now owns a business that he’s working to get off the ground, but his life takes an unexpected turn when he walks in on his girlfriend in bed with his best friend.
Enzo and Florian never expected to reconnect. Each man thought the other would never want to see him again. A second chance is within their reach if they can lay the guilt of their past to rest.
I am often up for trying out a new author and while the outline of this story was good, it never fully came together for me. The story opens with Florian and Enzo in present day as they are both coming out of messy breakups. Both of their exes were portrayed as awful, yet both Florian and Enzo continually gave them the benefit of the doubt and both exes were too present in the story.
When the men meet again, we quickly learn they had a history, but the chemistry wasn’t there between them from the start. The story read as disjointed to me as flashbacks were added in to show what happened to both Enzo and Florian and the flow of it was not a smooth read.
Florian is bisexual and there is a lot of biphobia and homophobia in the book. The author’s note states that her goal is to promote bi-awareness, but these characters did not do that for me. Both Florian and Enzo have one or two close friends, but then just about every other person they encounter is either biphobic or homophobic and while the experiences could be real, it did not read well for me. There were also prejudices shown about Enzo being deaf and everyone started to read as a caricature.
The book moves them through trying to start a relationship with the flashbacks added in and there was no intensity to anything for me and it felt like just a series of scenes strung together. The men spend time placating their cheating exes and then there is drama surrounding a hate crime with an all too neat resolution. The book also takes place in France, and while locations are mentioned, there is never a feeling that they are in France. There were a few phrases of French added in, but as a whole, the setting could have been anywhere.
Second chance romances are a common trope and there are more polished ones out there as this book read as basic, entry-level story telling. The outline of it had merit, but the execution was not to my liking.