Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
When Luka’s family moved when he was nine years old, Rook was his first friend who became his best friend. Luka always felt different when he was with Rook and, as he grew up, he knew he was in love with Rook. Luka didn’t think Rook would ever love him in the same way and, after they went to different colleges, Luka moved away from home. Rook and Luca tried to stay in touch, but the calls became farther apart, as did their friendship. But they both always knew who was missing from their life.
Luka’s father doesn’t have much time left and when Luka returns home, the one person he needs, the one person he has always needed, is Rook. Rook never felt that spark he heard others talk about and any intimacy he has had always felt like what he was supposed to do and not what he wanted to do. But now things with Luka are different. However, Luka never wanted to stay in their small town of Hemlock Harbor and loving each other might mean breaking their hearts all over again.
Childhood friends to lovers is one of my favorite tropes, so I was ready to get lost in Luka and Rook’s story. We get a few flashbacks to them as children where they both were loners and became instant friends. They play in the woods near their childhood fort and watch the sky as it changes to shades of blue from their favorite spot. Luka was always attracted to Rook, but Rook never felt true sexual attraction and they had no communication regarding that part of their relationship. For being the closest of friends, Luka seems to throw their years of friendship away based on thoughts that Rook will never be his and this portion of the story develops off page.
They live in a small town where everyone knows everyone and Luka’s father is sick and terminal. Luka comes home to spend time with his family and to repair the damage to his friendship with Rook. Only now, Rook might be ready to explore his sexual identity and how he sees Luka. Rook goes through some conversations with his friends and with Luka and it read like an info dump to me as he explained his thoughts on possibly being demi or pan and the flow of this felt forced. The friends are also being set up for their own stories, but they blended together with no one truly standing out.
Overall, I found the book to be slow. I do like descriptive and wordy scenes and passages, but I didn’t get the feels that I think this book was trying to get out there. It could be this author isn’t a match for me and you if do like this author’s books, then give Luka and Rook a try.