Author: Cara Dee
Release Date: April 26th 2016
Page Count: 283
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
Have you ever woken up and expected to see destruction everywhere?
In 48 hours, I lost everything. I came home to find my girlfriend of four years with another man. The next day a plane crash ripped my family away from me, shattering me in the process. In many ways, I died that day, too. The fun-loving man who’d lived in the fast lane and loved his career in the film industry was gone. Left was a forty-year-old shell that dwelled at the bottom of a bottle.
Only one person knew what I was going through. My sister’s stepson, who hadn’t been on the plane. Julian knew what it was like to lose everyone he loved, too. He’d stopped showing up at reunions when he was a teenager, so I didn’t know him very well. But I told him at the memorial service he could come out and visit me in LA whenever. One day he did, and I guessed it was as good a day as any to start picking up the pieces and see what was left of us.
Cara Dee nailed this one. NAILED it!
I have enjoyed the Aftermath series and Public Display of Everything, but this was special. Without any dramatic plot twists or suspense, it is the perfect blend of realism and emotion that really touched me. That, and the great writing.
The author couldn’t have chosen a better title. This book is all about Noah! Being inside his head was an absolute delight and I loved every minute of it. He’s all in, or all out. He’s a romantic but rational as well. He will give you everything, but he will never forgive betrayal. I variously found myself identifying with him.
So Noah, 40 year old assistant director extraordinaire and “proud cuddle slut”, is shit out of luck. Coming home from his trip, he finds his girfriend cheating on him. And then the next day his whole family gets killed in a plane crash. The only person who can understand what he’s going through, because he’s experiencing the exact same thing, is Julian, his dead sister’s stepson.
23 year old Julian was a complex character and harder to read, since we didn’t have his POV. But he’s full of contradictions, and I loved that.
Together they mourn. The grief part was very well done; it didn’t override the story but it was so very real. I can’t not mention the moment that Noah learns about the plane crash. His reaction and the description of his emotions at the time are indicative of the quality of writing.
And this is how it starts. Noah and Julian kind of save each other. When one of them is close to falling apart, the other is there to catch him. And Noah will NOT let Julian hide.
“Don’t give me any of that shit. Wanting comfort ain’t fucking reserved for women and children, and it’s barely been two months since we lost everyone.”
The friendship turns to lust, and lust turns to more. They try to resist it, but there is cuddling and a few stolen nights, when they decide to be “weak”.
“I wanna be weak tonight, Noah,” he murmured. “Please?”
No fucking clue what he meant by weak, but it fit well, I supposed. ‘Cause I was too weak to resist.
But Paris is the city of love… And although Noah and Julian fell for each other long before that, it’s in Paris that they ‘ll give in completely.
The time jumps work great and really add to the story. The cast of secondary characters was amazing and the movie that Noah was working on, really came alive through the pages; it felt like there was a story in the story. The sex scenes were smoking! Noah is so open and liberated about his sexuality, and the way he sees himself; it was truly refreshing.
What I’m trying to say (in not so few words) is that this book is special. It goes straight to my 2016-favorites shelf. Highly recommended for ALL MM romance readers.