Author: S.L. Danielson
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 1, 2019
Genre(s): Gay Suspense
Page Count: 164 pages
Reviewed by: Tosha
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Ask 26-year-old artist Cid Walker how he’s feeling and you’ll likely get a snarl, or a glare, but not a real answer. Cid’s soul is so damaged from a brutal and savage ex-fiancé that trusting anyone is out of the question.
Two classmates try to get his attention; Barry and Kellen. Barry is only 18 and a very naïve, sweet boy-next-door type who is young, needy, and anxious to get involved with the mysterious artist. He wants to be with Cid more than anything, but his efforts fail.
Kellen, all of 22, is as snarky as Cid is at first, but soon manages to get across to him. Kellen understands why Cid is acting out because Kellen is also keeping his soul and psyche intact with mere Band-Aids after being attacked a few years ago.
Add in a stalker that won’t take ‘no’ for an answer and you have Cid’s life at the moment. Who can get through his broken heart?
This book is truly not a pretty read. Trigger Warnings: rape, attempted rape, attempted self harm, flashbacks. With those warnings in place, this is a really good book about someone who has been hurt so badly who finally learns to live and maybe even love again. It is a heartbreaking read but I will say that it does end in a happy ending. Like I said it is a heartbreaking story but at the same time it is also a story about learning to live again after feeling like the life you have is no longer worth living.
CID is the main character in this book. He is twenty six years old and attending college even though he cannot handle being around a lot of people. He is an art major and wants to one day not only teach art but also keep up with his personal art at the same time. He is a snarky individual that does not let anyone close to him. But CID has his reasons for not letting anyone close.
When a guy in one of his classes named Barry introduces his self and decides he wants them to be friends, at the very least, CID is not real thrilled about this but decided to give Barry a chance to be friends. Barry is young and sweet. CID believes him to be too sweet for him but it is hard to be mean to Barry so they start a friendship. After a while Barry starts to push for more than friends and CID knows that is out of the question.
While Barry and CID are getting to know one another better another man has taken an interest in CID as well but there is something really off about the guy that throws all kinds of warnings CID’s way. Cid does his best to avoid the guy but that is not always easy.
During Christmas break everything comes to a head between CID and Barry. Barry just cannot accept that CID is not ready for a relationship and friendship alone is not enough for him any longer so after once again trying to push CID too fast, CID and Barry decide to quit hanging around one another once school starts back.
At first it is really hard for CID because even though he did not want a relationship with Barry, he does miss the friendship they started. But this leaves CID with the opportunity to become friends with another class mate that is more compatible with CID’s personality named Kellen.
Kellen knows from his own personal experience that something in CID’s past hurt him horribly. He sees the signs and the way CID pushes everyone away. So even though he is attracted to CID, he knows he is going to have to handle CID with kid gloves and go at Cid’s pace.
Something horrible happens to Cid and if Kellen cannot get through to him in time, CID may never recover.
This is one of those reads that will break you to pieces and then put you back together again. The trigger warnings should be heeded because there is very descriptive detail at points in this book so the warnings should not be taken lightly. SL Danielson wrote a really good book about learning to live again. I look forward to more books by SL Danielson in the future.
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