Title: Let Love Live
Author: Melissa Collins
Publisher: Melissa Collins
Release Date: July 5, 2014
Page Count: 298
Reviewed by: Brooklyn
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Who would you become if you lost the only person who ever mattered?
For twenty-six year old Dylan Hopkins, the answer is easy. He’s become no one. Memories of the happier times are all he has left as he finds himself meandering numbly through his now dull life. Though he cares about his work and family dearly, he’s yet to let himself find love again. Afraid of letting go of what he once had, Dylan chooses to keep his heart buried, where it belongs, having died a long time ago.
Conner Michelson is about to change everything Dylan knows. He’s every bit the bad boy persona – tatted up, ex-MMA fighter, but after an injury leaves him unable to fight, he has to rethink his goals. Having just opened his own gym, Conner can cross his first major life accomplishment off his very short list. Next up: find a man he can settle down with and build a family. Seems simple enough – a dream most people have, but when he meets Dylan, his carefree, easy-going life is thrown into a tailspin.
Determined to keep Dylan in his life, Conner vows to resurrect Dylan’s long ago buried heart and let love live once more.
The first half the book is devoted to Shane and Dylan’s tragic love story. Best friends since they were little, they finally confess their feelings to each other as seniors in high school. But Shane’s father is a classic asshole abuser who constant beats him and berates him. As Shane struggles to hide his sexuality, carry on a long distance relationship with Dylan and get through his college courses, the abuse gets worse. Everything blows up for Shane when his “girlfriend” catches him with Dylan and in a jealous rage tells his dad. Dylan also blows up at Shane not giving him a chance to explain everything. Poor Shane can’t handle it all and commits suicide.
Told in both Dylan’s and Shane’s first person POV, you get totally wrapped up in the angst and heartbreak of not only their relationship but Shane’s struggle with the abuse and his sexuality. Then it ends tragically and that’s it.
The second half of book jumps ahead eight years and Dylan is still dealing with guilt because of the way things ended with Shane. It’s all about his budding relationship with Conner. Again, told in both Dylan’s and Conner’s first person POV. The aftermath of the suicide is sort of explained as their relationship builds, but although I enjoyed seeing Conner and Dylan together, something just didn’t make sense to me in their pairing.
You get sucked into the first relationship that leaves you reeling from their tragic end, then you have to switch gears and it was a bit hard to reconcile Dylan with Conner after having been so emotionally wrapped up in Dylan and Shane. Especially after getting Shane’s heart-wrenching POV in part one.
I get that Dylan and Shane’s story had to be told in order to understand where Dylan’s heart and head were at in his relationship with Conner, but I don’t know that it needed to be told as half the book. I feel like this was really two stories in one. The first romance was so emotional that the second one felt a bit dry.