This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sometimes a book comes along that truly is a delightful surprise and this is one of them. It has a low key and slowly drawn out plot and pace that is all about the characters. This is one of books that I think of as my quirky reads because it appeals to me because of something in it that’s either different or exotic to the norm. In this case, the different and exotic is the main character’s romantic interest. Normally, I don’t really care whose perspective I am getting the story from whether it’s first person or third person or even if there are one or more than one points of view. This story was written from just one character’s perspective. I loved Charlie’s voice and getting the story from his point of view, but there were so many times that I really wanted to know what Will was thinking behind those enigmatic expressions. Most of the time it comes out in dialogue or his behavior, but sometimes it is just left a mystery.
The story is about Charlie who is an ex-cop now turned Criminal Justice college professor after he was injured in a horrific car accident that left him with permanent hip issues. The accident took away more than his career because at that moment he realized that his lover left him. He knew that because of the priority he placed on his family (he basically reared and now continues to be the father figure for his 3 sisters) and something about him was not enough and would never be enough for anyone to want to be with him. It had been a long time coming, but he hadn’t realized the relationship was over. Now he lives in and manages an apartment complex using that and his teaching to keep him busy. He has pretty much checked out of the world.
But things change for Charlie the morning the new apartment sitter for Grayson drops a flower pot from the balcony that almost beans him. Charlie is captivated by the gorgeous yet intriguing man that gives him mysterious looks and makes cryptic statements and quotes that sound like he’s copying old movie dialogue. After several days, Charlie finally actually meets the guy name William when he mistakenly rescues him from a lovers’ quarrel. It is not Will’s lover, but the meeting is enough to show Charlie that there is something there between himself and Will. Unfortunately Charlie doubts that he could ever attract and keep interested such a handsome stylish man which is the underlying erosion that can destroy a very good thing.
The relationship has its fair share of stops and starts, miscues, heartbreak, torrid and adventurous passion along with the fun and bantering that comes with a happy new couple. Charlie and Will are almost as opposite as one can get on the spectrum when they start out. Charlie calls Will Holly Golightly in the beginning and he sort of has that character from Breakfast at Tiffany’s feel about him. It is only later in the book when he lets down his guard with Charlie that he seems to have a more typical response and need in the relationship. Will has his own demons from the past that affect him. But the two men are very good for each other if they can just get on the same page.
FYI- there are light BDSM elements in the book.
I’m not sure that this book is for the average contemporary romance or m/m romance reader, but it is a truly arresting romance story for those who can handle a slower pace and characters that really are not easy fixes.
Thanks for Net Galley for providing the book at my request.