Author: C. Kennedy
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Length: Super Novel (480pgs)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (Dreamspinner Press) (19th September 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Blurb: High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy’s boyfriend would entail.
Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s teammates turns enemy, and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy’s combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together.
Review: Michael hasn’t ever really had to worry about anything in his life, he’s the captain of the track team, his best friend always has his back, and his parents are wonderful. The only thing he secretly yearns for is a boyfriend to complete his happy world, but with only his best friend and parents knowing he is gay, he doesn’t think he will be finding a boyfriend any time soon. That is until he bumps into Christy, the silent pretty young man that he develops a crush on. Christy has been through hell for most of his life, slowly healing he makes a new life for himself far from Greece and he begins to yearn for friendship and love. When Christy meets Michael, he has hope that he can find love with him, but with a homophobic jock, causing problems and a man from Christy’s past determined to reclaim Christy they both face together and can only hope that their determination and newfound love can overcome the danger they face.
This is a wonderful young adult story that will make your heart bleed for the young couple as they try to find love and peace. Michael seems to have a blessed life, but he isn’t blind to what could happen if he comes out at school. He has a wonderful support system with his parents and best friend Jake, who is there for him when needed and encourage him when he begins to feel down. Christy is a young man whose life has been hell, nobody could help him until it was nearly too late and he now has much healing to do. Christy has a long journey ahead of him as he comes to terms with what happened to him and he begins to reclaim his life with the help of his new boyfriend Michael.
This is a very touching story that has a surprising amount of danger and action for the young adults of the story. Michael and Christy make a wonderful couple even with the trauma that Christy still has to overcome, but Michael proves himself the perfect person to help Christy have a normal life. Christy may be damaged and wary but he is an incredibly strong character, Michael may not know everything that has happened but he is a very surprising astute young man, Jake is an incredible best friend and the assortment of other characters we meet make this story just brilliant. Watching as the characters pull together in the face of scorn and danger was wonderful, as each of them added that something special to the storyline.
While I would love to dissect this story pointing out everything that makes it incredible I can’t, it would take too long as there were so many things that made me unable to put this story down. While some of the story was a bit hard to swallow, like the police and bodyguards seeming incompetence and the convenient way nobody could ever find Yosef or Jason, there was some incredible understanding of the effects of abuse and how it affects those around the victims.
I recommend this to those who love young adults overcoming abuse, danger and scorn, friends and family pulling together, rescues, fear, anger and finding love.