Collide by Riley Hart

91lbmDAVm1L._SL1500_Title: Collide

Series:   Blackcreek Series

Author: Riley Hart                     

Genre: Contemporary

Length:   Novel (258 pages)

Publisher: Riley Hart (November 8th, 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer:   Eli/Mandingo

Blurb: At ten years old, Noah Jameson and Cooper Bradshaw collided mid-air when they dove for the same football. For three years, they were inseparable…until one day when Noah and his parents disappeared in the middle of the night. 

Noah and Cooper never knew what happened to each other. Now, seventeen years later, after finding his boyfriend in bed with another man, Noah returns to Blackcreek looking for a fresh start. And damned if he doesn’t find his old friend grew up to be sexy as sin. Coop can’t believe Noah—the only person he trusted with the guilt over his parents’ death—is back. And gay… Or that Cooper himself suddenly wants another man in his bed for the first time. 

There’s no denying the attraction and emotion between them, but can they overcome the ghosts of their pasts to have a future together? 

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Review: Finally a book with a realistic look and take at what it must take for a man who has never before found himself attracted to a man dealing with the myriad of emotions that comes with redefining yourself when you already thought you were fairly well-defined. The story allows the reader to learn about the characters of Noah and Cooper so that they understand how both men could perhaps move from one reality to another. Both men are scarred by their childhoods and the overwhelming theme of the book is how love, friendship and understanding can help to heal wounds and start new beginnings.

The author makes good use of flashbacks to help the reader understand the nature of Noah and Cooper’s relationship which makes their journey from friendship to lovers easier to understand and highly believable. It’s also realistic in that first comes sex, and then comes emotions. The sex in the book is both erotic and healing; and, while there is a LOT of it, it is not gratuitous, but rather serves to help the men become closer and heal from past hurts. For Cooper, experiencing sex with Noah allows him to realize that he feels more for his friend that the simple love one has for a friend, the sex binds him to the man who will become his partner.

The story follows the men’s friendship, to their sexual encounter, to their break up and then to their eventual understanding that their feelings for each other are not fleeting and that they must work together if their relationship is to succeed. And then when the reader feels that the HEA is now accomplished, a new crisis is thrown into the mix and the two men must now overcome this crisis together in order for them to not just have their HEA, but to build the foundation that will become their lives.

Noah and Cooper are a very believable couple. The movement from their friendship to their relationship builds a climax in the story which pulls the reader in. Both men love each other and the things they do for and with each other clearly demonstrate that. The reader wants them to succeed and even when Cooper struggles, the reader understands why and continues to root for him. Why? Because the reader understands that it is in Cooper admitting his feelings for Noah that he will be able to begin to heal.

The story is very well told and nicely paced and is quite an enjoyable read.