The Proof Is the Way It Hurts (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: The Proof is the Way it Hurts
Author: E.S. Carter
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: July 27, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Second Chance
Page Count: 74
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


Two small town boys fell in love.
One got left behind.
One went off to war.
He came back a man.
A broken, lonely, desperate man searching for the one thing to ease his pain.

Can Dylan forgive George for leaving him?
Can love snuff out the pain?

The Proof Is the Way It Hurts.

OMG, I found this story deeply moving. The novella begins with George lying on a dusty road in Afghanistan, the victim of a roadside bombing, looking into the eyes of a dead soldier next to him. But the face morphs into the face of his beloved Dylan and knowing that he could “take my last silent breath on this dusty ground,” George begs for Dylan’s forgiveness for leaving him.

Two years later, George returns to their small Welsh town to find Dylan. We get glimpses of their shared childhood and young love, and the love that still binds these two men together. In just a handful of pages, the author weaves a beautiful story of redemption and abiding love:

And lying there under his gentle, loving touch, I realize that this is what love is; this is how you know you love someone and are loved in return.
The proof is in the way it hurts to be without them.
The proof is how that hurt can only be soothed by the arms of a lover you thought you’d lost
The proof is in forgiveness, whether deserved or not.

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Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader