It’s been years since Billy Daley has seen Gus Amour. Not since that kiss years ago that turned Billy’s world upside down. Billy hasn’t been back to his hometown, but now he has nowhere to go and no job. Living with his brother, Luke, who is also Gus’ best friend, isn’t his best option as they don’t get along, so Billy finds himself living with Gus. Yeah—awkward.
Gus remembers Billy and he remembers what his lips feels like against Billy’s. He also remembers Billy as always being in trouble, but Billy is exactly the kind of trouble Gus can get on board with. Everyone likes Gus and Gus promises Luke to look after Billy, even though Billy makes Gus’ heart race faster than it should. Gus does hookups, not relationships, and Gus knows that doing either with Billy is a bad idea, but having Billy so close is a temptation he can’t resist. Billy and Gus are two men that want each other desperately for all time, but fate may step in and mess with their plans before they can admit their feelings and commit to each other.
If you are looking for a contemporary, character-driven book, Unforgotten is the one you want as Garrett Leigh stays on brand with her hard working, hard loving men. This book follows Forgiven, where Gus and Billy were introduced and which featured Gus’ sister, Mia, and Billy’s brother, Luke. Gus and Billy are present enough in that story that reading that Forgiven first would offer a richer experience here.
Billy and Gus had a moment years ago and, while they have gone their separate ways, it was the kiss that defined all kisses for both of them. Billy is a bit of a mess. He was always in trouble in his hometown and now he’s returned with no job and a chronic shoulder injury and a world of emotional pain he’s carried around for years. One of the only good things Billy holds onto is the memory of that kiss with Gus. Gus is a bit more settled and works with Luke and everyone likes Gus. But Gus has no idea how to date and no idea how to want someone as much as he wants Billy.
The chemistry between the men is dreamy. Billy comes off as distant and prickly at first glance, but he carries a lot of pain with him and really only wants someone to look at him the way Gus does. Although this book is lower on the angst comparatively, it’s not easy for these guys. They are in their own heads a lot and when they figure out what they do want, they have no idea how to ask for it.
I would have liked a little more with Billy and Luke managing the vast space of hurt between them. While they do make progress on their relationship, they never cut through to the heart of their issues to really heal their past.
This is a great Garrett Leigh book for an in depth look at two men who simply belong next to each other.