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I’m not sure how to review this. For me it was a 4.5 star read. It is a complete novel with the basis being a ‘straight’ guy in a small town suddenly changing teams. And the small town reacting in a variety of ways. This is more than just the love story of Travis and Wesley, this is a narrative of being gay in a small town. Where people are only too happy to voice their disapproval, and in some cases, approval, of Travis’ new love. For the most part, this shines the town in a good light, as the majority of townsfolk come around eventually. Realising that Travis is still Travis but now a happier version than the last 4 years since his wife died. It was a well written novel which could have continued on really. Although we have the ending that we are all hoping for. The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars was due to the fact that I feel like integral parts of the initial start of Wes and Travis’ love were kind of skipped over. And this may have been to keep the book at a reasonable size, but it went from agreeing to give it a shot to two months later with them being in pretty much a full on relationship. Just not telling people about it but not really hiding it either. I would have preferred to read the parts that were glossed over. That being said, this is a wonderful story of small town life. It’s about learning to make a stand and not letting others change you or make you run to the nearest big city. Highly recommend.
When I think of this book the word “real” immediately springs to mind. A “real” American small town where homophobia exists and curses pain and fear. A “real” romance that’s all about family and what it takes to glean a new love and family together. Emotions that are all too “real” when it comes to love, loss, grief and moving on. This a a brilliantly written, descriptive, engaging, heartfelt character driven plot with excellent pacing. Wesley and Travis are complex and not without flaws. It’s not an easy path by any stretch of the imagination but they do eventually get their HEA. The cast of secondary characters are vital to the story and each get a POV at some stage throughout the book. This is slow burn romance, where apart from a kiss or two, the steam is all off page.
Wesley and Travis and all the secondary characters were so well drawn it didn’t take me long to invest in them, emotive writing style, hurt/comfort, anger, I cried and laughed, enjoyed the different points of view. A slow burn romance with lots of heat, I couldn’t get enough and can’t wait to read more of Brendans books.
I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book for my honest opinions of which I’m under no obligation to do so. I absolutely recommend this book.