Rory was Ben's oldest and best friend until senior year of high school, when they confessed they'd harbored feelings for each other all along. They enjoyed only a few months of happiness until Ben chose closeted popularity over true love... and he's regretted it ever since.
Eight years later, Ben is out and proud and teaching art at the same high school he graduated from. When he learns the chemistry teacher is retiring, he's excited to meet her replacement until he finds out the brand new teacher is none other than Rory Newton - the first love he's never quite gotten over. Despite a painfully awkward start, it doesn't take Ben long to realize he'll do whatever it takes to win Rory back. But it's starting to look like even his best might not be enough.
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Fun, emotional, slightly angsty read.
Watching Ben realize the mistake he made and do everything he could to remedy it.
Ben, see above.
The Art Gallery at the end.
Love will find a way.
Rory and Ben have been friends ever since the day Rory moved in next door to Ben when they were still kids. Over the years they grew up together and something more than the simple bond of friendship developed between them. Just before their senior year, both young men came clean about their mutual feelings and swore they would love each other forever. But high school, peer pressure and the need to fit in got in the way. A decade later and Rory winds up in Ben’s path again, just like before, but he wants nothing to do with giving Ben a second chance.
I was drawn into the story from the start when a very young Ben got jealous and kicked Rory in the shins. When forced to apologize it was the first of many times Ben would be mesmerized by Rory’s smile. Then the story jumps to present day and, I was a little confused at first, but the time jump quickly clears itself up and Ben explains to his now best friend exactly what a tool he was in high school. Ben feels like he is being given a second chance at that first love, the one that got away, and the one no one has ever been able to compete with. But Rory is stand-offish and resistant from the start. As the story progresses, the friendship slowly slides back into something similar to the past and the two men become inseparable again. Ben goes into the situation realizing it’s just a friend’s with benefits type of situation, but is no less heartbroken when that nail is forcibly hammered home.
There was a lot of angst, but both men are still in their late twenties, so it is to be expected. What I enjoyed the most about this audio was getting to watch Ben and Rory navigate through all that pain, anger and hurt and try to find their way back to each other. Neither having been whole since they have been apart. But Rory doesn’t make it easy, and why should he, Ben broke his heart.
Narrated by George Somerset, my first party with him, but I’d be willing to accept another invitation. I loved the voices he gave the characters and I could literally feel Ben’s pain there toward the end of the story. This was a fast, emotional, slightly angsty read and overall, I really enjoyed it.
- Tams (TTC Books and more)
Sweet, angsty-y, friends to lovers