Bradley Zelder can't find his way in life. After struggling for nearly a decade, he has yet to complete his college degree. Working as a school custodian, living in blue-collar Landsbury, MA, his love life is as empty as the rest of his existence. But on his way home after another disastrous date, his truck breaks down in upscale Oceanside. When he thinks life can't get any worse, a man who is the epitome of Boston elite and everything Bradley finds attractive and intimidating helps him move his truck to the side of the road. Ashamed of his lot in life, Bradley almost lets the opportunity slip away, but he comes to his senses in time and tracks Caleb down.
From a random act of kindness, romance begins to grow, filling all the dark corners of Bradley's empty life - until a random act of violence threatens to take it all away. Bradley must step up and be the man Caleb believes him to be. Caleb rescued him from a life without hope. Can Bradley rescue him in return?
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Came for the narrator, stayed for the story
Story and narration didn't add up for me
This is one of those situations where the story and the narration just don't add up for me. Which is stunning to me as I normally love Iggy Toma's narration. However, this time around I really did not like the voice he used for main character Caleb. To me he sounded like a creepy Hal from 2001: a Space Odyssey. It just...every time he spoke I cringed. It didn't help that every time the character opens his mouth he sounds horribly pompous and pretentious.
"But I owe you honesty as you've just given me your truth..."
"I too sense that love is blooming right here and right now."
"I love a man in a white t-shirt Bradley, but it is going to have to go as well."
"Your muscles never cease to amaze and arouse me." Caleb smiled as he ran his fingertips across my chest.
"Not so fast Mr. Zelder"..."now you may lie on your stomach on the bed."
Story-wise maybe it's that the whole thing is from the POV of Bradley, who is a self-confessed asshole. And boy, is he.
Bradley is a bit of a dichotomy. On one hand he's commitment phobic but on the other he's tired of bedding women with whom he feels no emotional connection. (And personally, I would have preferred to not read about Bradley’s sexy times with women.) However, once he meets Caleb he makes a remarkable 180 and is ready, after a month together, to completely upend his life for Caleb.
He does step up to the plate, which was nice to listen to, and it's true he does redeem himself by the end of the story, it just was not enough for me to truly like the character. And if I heard one more time that Bradley looked like Bradley Cooper I would have screamed. Seriously.
So bottom line: I like the character of Caleb, even with his poncy talk, but dislike Bradley. Love the narration voice choice for Bradley, even if he starts out as a major (self aware and self-confessed) asshole, but hate the voice of Caleb. I like the romantic aspect, even if it was a bit insta-love, but the "mystery" side of the story was a huge "WTF - how can you not see what's happening here?!" time for me. All of which are personal niggles though.
I would still recommend it if you are a fan of Kerick or Toma. Maybe you won't have the same issues I did.
- Belen "I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres."