Series: Unconditional Love, Book 2
Author: Wade Kelly
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel (350 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 16th, 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Matt Dixon, a young firefighter, is the golden child of his family, and he never dreamed that coming out would challenge more than the way his church sees him.
For years, Matt has led a double life hoping to avoid ridicule. When a self-righteous pastor’s statements provoke him to defend his recently deceased best friend’s honor and subsequently out himself, he suffers the brutal aftermath of his revelation. Everyone in his life, including his family and his new lover, Darian, must deal with the ramifications as Matt struggles to come to terms with guilt, shame, and his very belief in God.
Darian Weston lost his fiancé when Jamie took his life and his feelings for Matt added guilt to his burden of grief. Confused and lonely, Darian clings to Matt despite his inner strife. But small-town realities keep intruding, and if Matt and Darian hope to make a life together, they must first take a stand for what they believe in, even if they fear the cost.
Review: When Jamie Miller committed suicide, he forever changed the lives of the two men he loved most; His best friend, Matt, the young firefighter and his fiancé, the young lost soul, Darian. In the aftermath of Jamie’s death, Matt and Darian begin an unconventional relationship that is fueled by grief and lust. The attraction is undeniable and immediate, and even though both men struggle internally with their relationship and the fact they really should not be doing this, they can’t seem to get enough of each other.
Matt has only recently come out to his parents and his church and is still dealing with the aftermath. His parents are initially standoffish, but they eventually come to their own terms with his homosexuality. Crazy church members and homophobic co-workers only add to the grief in his life, and he’s still recovering from the loss of his best friend.
Darian’s part in the story is a little darker. He is consumed with grief in the aftermath of Jamie’s death, to the point that it manifests itself as Jamie, ridiculing and condemning him for having a relationship with Matt. Darian’s addictions are scary and he was by far the most interesting character in this story for me. He literally hit rock bottom and struggled immensely to regain his footing and attempt to be happy, not just with Matt, but with life in general.
This is the first book by Kelly that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. I’m a huge fan of love stories that are rooted in reality. Characters that have depth and overcome enormous odds to be together and be happy. Kelly delivers all these attributes and many more within the pages of this book. Her writing is intense and gripping. There is a HEA for us hopeless romantics, and some hot sex scenes with our two ML, in fact at the start of the book I don’t think they strayed far from the bed! Definitely a must read for fans of the genre.