Author: M.B. Mulhall
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: March 7th 2017
Page Count: 210
Reviewed by: Ana
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Eighteen-year-old Oliver’s troubles don’t end when he’s released from prison. He has nowhere to go, and he can’t even think about moving past his crimes while trying to survive homelessness.
Helping an elderly woman after a fall guides Oliver into at least a temporary home. In exchange for odd jobs and some assistance, he’s welcomed into a life with the old twin spinsters, and it seems too good to be true. The neighbor, Simon, certainly thinks it is. He doesn’t trust Oliver or his motives. Oliver is used to that kind of judgment, but it isn’t helping him overcome his guilt. Maybe Simon is right and Oliver doesn’t deserve happiness—or any of the other feelings stirring in a heart Oliver thought he’d closed off for good.
Oliver has two options: let the pain of his past swallow him and destroy all hope for the future, or move on to the new possibilities in front of him. Choosing to live won’t be easy, and Oliver might not be able to do it alone.
I loved Oliver. I have a thing for broken characters and the ones dealing with mental illness, which is something I try to see very critically. I was pleased with the result on that matter, it was easy to see from the start that Oliver had important anxiety issues, and it was portray in a very realistic way.
The romantic part of the story was a little bit underwhelming, but otherwise it would have felt forced. It did had some very beautiful moments and the shyness of both MC was something very sweet. It was understandable that the relationship developed slowly. Sure there was lust, but I think Oliver needed to heal before he was ready to trust someone enough to be in a relationship.
The plot was good, it wasn’t entirely unexpected. I did have some nice surprises, but I don’t think that was the best part of the story. What I loved the most was Oliver, the feelings that, most of the time, were very easy to feel connected with. To understand his pain, guilt and self-loathing. Simon was ok, but I didn’t care for him as much as I did for Oliver, he wasn’t flawless which was nice, but I felt like there wasn’t much character development from his side, maybe because the story was told from Ollie’s point of view, but I still felt like something was missing there.
Another part I loved about it were the secondary characters, I liked them even more than I liked Simon. I think Ollie had a better connection with some of them than he did with Simon, not a romantic one but a connection either way.
Overall I really liked it. It was my first book from the author and it was a great first impression.