Fredric Pedalino married his wife at age 17, after a teen pregnancy resulted in their son, Julian. Things were bad almost from the start, and between Julian’s cleft palette and hearing loss, and Fredric’s stroke and subsequent blindness, his wife made it clear early on that her life (and her family) did not live live up to her expectations. Fredric feels incredible guilt for not shielding his children more from his wife’s verbal abuse, but he is coming to recognize that the abuse he also suffered left him unable to fully protect his kids. Now, Fredric is fresh off a divorce, has left his job, and is starting over in a new home. For the first time since he was a teen, Fredric is having the chance to live on his own and take his life in whatever direction he wants. But he is also a bit at loose ends, lonely with his son living in Paris, and not quite sure of his next steps. Fortunately, Julian’s best friend, Ilan Nadav, has been there for Fredric throughout the process.
Ilan, too, is at a crossroads in his life. When Julian moved to Paris with his true love, Ilan took some time to reflect on his own life and realized he wasn’t really happy. Ilan has always pushed aside the idea of finding love and having a relationship; he never felt like he was worthy or could trust enough to find a true partner. But seeing Julian’s happiness has made Ilan realize it is something he may want for himself — if he can believe he deserves it. When Ilan realizes there is nothing left tying him to his current home, he decides to quit his job and move for a fresh start. Maybe starting a new practice in a new place will help him find that passion again for his work. As it turns out, Ilan finds himself living not far from Fredric.
Julian and Ilan have been best friends since childhood, and so Fredric and Ilan were always fixtures in each other’s lives. But now that Ilan has grown, he and Fredric have moved on to their own close friendship. As the men spend time together in their new homes, the friendship begins to deepen, and each man realizes that feelings have been building for a long time. Both Ilan and Fredric realize there could be more between them, that they desperately want more between them. But aside from the obvious complication of Julian’s potential feelings about his dad and best friend getting together, there are other complications. Fredric is older, fresh off a divorce, and never having dated a man before (or really anyone other than his wife). Ilan has a lot of fears about being in a relationship and trusting someone else with his heart. And both men are at life crossroads with new homes and new jobs and trying to figure out what is next for their futures. But the connection Fredric and Ilan are building is growing stronger, and both men realize this could be something real, if only they have the courage to take the leap.
Love in Slow Motion is the second book in E.M. Lindsey’s Love Beyond Measure series, following the incredible Edge of Heaven. We met both Fredric and Ilan in that first book, and the chemistry between them was clear even then. I will admit that after finishing that story, I immediately messaged Lindsey and told them “I need a book for Fredric and Ilan like I need air.” So needless to say, I was hugely excited to hear that Lindsey was developing a series and giving us a book for these guys. As a note, while this story does largely stand alone in the relationship end of things, the seeds of Fredric and Ilan’s story begin in Edge of Heaven, so reading that will set the stage here. I also think understanding Fredric’s relationship with Julian, as well as the situation with his ex-wife, is really helpful in getting the most out of this story, so I would definitely recommend reading the first book before this one. But let me tell you, Edge of Heaven is easily one of my favorite books of the year, so it is no hardship for sure.
I have said this time and again, but one of the places where Lindsey really excels in their writing is character development, and that is once again what shines so brightly here. This story is a slow burn, as both Fredric and Ilan are at major crossroads in their lives and both are just feeling their way along. Neither is in a place to rush into something serious, and even more, both are treading very carefully in this new relationship. So this is a more character-driven story than a plot heavy one, and Lindsey’s skill at building their characters really brings things to life here. Lindsey treats these characters with such tenderness. We see their fragile underbellies as each man works to find themselves and their new place in the world. And as they build those new lives, they slowly begin to move toward one another. Frederic and Ilan are so sweet and sexy and this book just oozes romance. I wanted to wrap both these men up and just hug them, and I loved watching as they give one another the love and comfort and happiness both men need and deserve.
I pretty much have loved everything I have read by Lindsey, but this series is something particularly special. It appears that there are at least two more books coming in this series and I can not wait for more stories in this wonderful world Lindsey has created. Don’t miss out on this special series; definitely check these books out.