Landon is finally comfortable in his life. Growing up in Utah, he never knew he could even think he was gay and went on to marry his childhood girlfriend. Now divorced, living in Texas, and raising his star football player son, Bowen, Landon has struggled to be comfortable with who he is. It all came at a price and, while Landon’s relationship with Bowen is stellar, Landon would still like a relationship for himself.
Luke has been drifting through life for years. He never found his groove in college and barely passed his classes and when his college girlfriend, Riley, became pregnant, they got married. Luke used to have a great relationship with his son, Emmet, but as Luke and Riley grew apart, so did Luke and Emmet. It’s now been a year since Riley died and Luke is clinging on to life and trying to reach Emmet, but Luke has no idea how to begin to repair their relationship.
Luke and Landon’s sons are best friends and, as the men spend time together volunteering for the football team, they grow close and Luke begins to crave his time with Landon. Luke has no idea how to stop the free fall when he realizes he’s falling for Landon. It doesn’t matter that he’s never been attracted to a man before, Landon is everything Luke wants. But Luke is finally beginning to repair his relationship with Emmet and Luke is afraid his feelings for Landon will jeopardize everything with his son. Except, Landon returns Luke’s feelings and together they might be able to create the family they always wanted.
I always look forward to a new book from Tal Bauer. His writing encompasses different styles and I enjoy seeing in which direction the current book will go. You & Me is a character-driven, contemporary novel that focuses on the lives and relationships of Luke and Landon.
Luke is the point-of-view character and his narrative is intense. Bauer really captures Luke’s thoughts and, while is mind is a complicated place to be, the powerful descriptions had me living life right alongside Luke. Luke is miserable in every area of his life. He has thoughts that it would be better if he wasn’t here anymore, but clings on to the thought of repairing his relationship with his son. Luke has been checked out of most things for so long and after the revelations his wife’s death brings, Luke is struggling to hang on.
At first glance, Landon has it all together. He has a great relationship with his son, has a great career, works tirelessly volunteering for the football team, and is well respected by everyone. He even bends over backwards to keep an easy relationship between Bowen and his ex-wife. But it took Landon a long time to get there and when he realizes that Luke is attracted to him, Landon even struggles with how accepting Luke is right away of his attraction to a man. The men spend more time together and they still crave more. When Luke realizes his feelings for Landon, it is another intense look into his mind as he relentlessly tries to figure out what means for himself. He rethinks every interaction and realizes that some of their outings have really been dates and then Luke wants everything with Landon. There is no point of view from Landon and while I do understand that the change would have broken the flow of being so fully in Luke’s head, I would have liked to have his viewpoint somewhere in the book.
Luke and Landon become great friends on their way to sharing their lives together. From their first meeting to watching them fall in love as they share football and their relationships with their sons, this book offers a great experience seeing Luke and Landon become the family they have always craved.