Author: Emily Carrington
Length: Novel (241 pages)
Publisher: Loose Id (October 16, 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts
Blurb: Mike Delaney, a sheltered nineteen-year-old, is hired to assist Aidan Kelly, a blind high school senior with a rainbow for every occasion. He isn’t prepared for his attraction to Aidan, or the residual fear caused by being back at the high school.
Aidan Kelly, also nineteen years old, was forced to transfer to the new school after a violent altercation with another student, and recognizes and welcomes his attraction to Mike. Even though he finally persuades Mike to open his closet door, Aidan learns there’s a reason that door was locked closed in the first place.
The man who tormented Mike and made him ashamed of being himself is still very much in his life, and will stop at nothing, including murder, to ensure Mike’s silence. Can Mike draw enough strength from his love for Aidan to end the torment? Can Aidan, who has cause to fear his violent side, overcome his terror of his own abilities long enough to defeat Mike’s tormentor?
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices, violence.
Product link: http://www.loose-id.com/heartwood.html
Review: Heartwood is a compelling story about school struggles, hatred and abuse. It follows a love story through fights for survival in an unbending world and coming out despite it being so much easier to stay hidden and safe.
Aidan, we get to meet first. Head on into the issues that put him in the other main character, Mike’s, way. He is competent, not afraid to speak his mind and carries the heavy burden of self-imposed responsibility on his shoulders. As a blind nineteen year old, he hasn’t had it easy and transferring to a new school where his differences would stand out even more is not something he’s looking forward to.
Mike is a naïve young man who’s been through a lot, but carries on with a smile and is really excited about getting a job of being Aidan’s aide in school. His demons are of the living kind and haunt him every single day; be it in flesh or through memories. So meeting Aidan, a young man so different from everyone else, pushes the fears to the side and allows Mike to be himself to the extent he’d never dared to before.
What I liked the most about this book was the complicated back stories of both characters. I loved the fact that Aidan could look after himself, and knew how to fight. Really liked Mike’s stubbornness, even when he was afraid. as well as the fact that there was more to his life than the love he felt for Aidan.
Both were really interesting men and their adaptation journey from guilt ridden and afraid to ready to face their troubles and allow love to come forth was really pleasurable to read about.
Where I just couldn’t get used to the story and where I eventually noticed a pattern, were the conversations. Every single one between the main characters ended without everything being said. Questions were left unanswered and subjects barely touched. It caused a lot of issues to pile up without there ever being an all-encompassing resolution. Maybe it was just me who noticed it, but either way it kept pulling me out of the story, making me want to lock the couple in a room and not let them out until they spent at least twenty-four hours blabbering about their issues. I’m not sure even that long would have been enough.
Certain sex scenes were a bit inappropriate or maybe even far-fetched and I definitely missed a bed in the story. But, the gentles between the characters were really appealing and I’m very happy that I’d gotten the chance to read Heartwood. It is a book to keep in mind.