This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance, New Adult Romance
Published by Intermix
Released on April 21, 2015
This series just knocks my socks off with each new installment and this one is no exception. Emotional, intense, suspenseful and passionate cover to cover. And if that doesn’t sell it then throw in a tatted up skater and tattoo artist that both ride bikes and own some adorable dogs. Can’t honestly think of a downside to this one and I willingly let it tie me up in knots over these two broken souls who can’t do love the easy way.
This is part of the Between Breaths series, but like the others it could be read out of order or as a standalone if necessary. Characters from the previous book are very present, but the story lines are all separate.
Cory is one of the artists at Raw Ink and he loves the people he works with, but lately it has been hard watching them start to find their special someones and pair off. He had that once and lost it, but the pain is still there. Lately, his interest has perked up again for a guy totally off limits- the much whispered about, mysterious and silent skater, Jude York. Cory encounters him around town and knows the intense guy works at the skate shop next to the biker bar where Cory goes to relax and talk bikes with the hard biker group that hang out there. Oh he knows the local MC owns the bar, but it beats all the gay bars where he would just be hooking up or the other bars where all the college crowd hangs. But Jude, Cory wants to know him and get past all the rumors that he doesn’t quite believe though the ties to the local biker club and the need to stay below radar make him wonder. Fortunately, his rascally new adopted dog helps him out there by tangling him up with Jude every chances the dog gets. Cory’s attempts to talk to Jude are repulsed and then Jude asks for Cory to do a special tattoo for him.
Slowly Jude let’s Cory in even as Cory opens up his own painful secrets to Jude. It is tentative and slow and doesn’t stand a really good chance of happening because Jude’s secrets are big. Cory’s biggest fear is that Jude will be like so many others and leave him after Cory has opened his heart again. And because of the trouble in Jude’s life, he just might have to.
The story is told entirely from Cory’s perspective and I thought that was a brilliant move on the author’s part. It leaves Jude shadowy and mysterious so that the reader, like Cory, can only guess at what he’s thinking until he speaks. Unlike previous books, this one has a lot of suspense and a danger element to it. Jude’s near silence and the uncertainty about his sexual orientation make the romantic connection and development an interesting one. And just as an aside, may I say that the author did a bang up good job of writing a same sex romance that rivals her usual fair. These were two guys and they acted like two guys. Some authors can’t pull that off, but this was nicely done.
As to the characters, it felt like these two were on a hostile, then parallel and then finally a journey together as they grew in their own rights before growing closer together. I loved all the settings that they moved through from the camaraderie at the tattoo shop, to the park where Jude skated and Cory ran, to the lakeside where Jude fished, to bikes, to MC biker bar, to time with Cory’s grandma. It was fun flitting from scene to scene with them. So much more than a romance, but a very powerful romance.
[quote]Before I could clamp it down, the irritation boiled deep in my gut. “Why is talking so damn hard for you?”
His eyebrows shot together. I’d gotten a reaction from him. Good.
His gaze soldered to mine, and I nearly lost myself in its intensity. “Why is silence so bloody hard for you?”
I nearly swallowed my tongue. Not only had he been paying attention, but now he sounded annoyed. Well that made two of us.
Loc 480 Cory and Jude from There You Stand[/quote]
All in all, an absolutely fabulous story that will be one of my favorites for the year and affirms the strength of this series. This individual book I would recommend for those who like deeply moving, heartwarming M/M New Adult Contemporary Romance (the rest of the series is m/f NA CR).
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #158 NA
New to Me #83 writing new sexual orientation
Cliche Klatch #80 ‘keep you in line’
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