Contemporary M/M by Melissa Collins: Sales Blitz For the entire month of March, bestselling author Melissa Collins has put both of her contemporary M/M titles on sale. Let Love Live and On Solid Ground will only be $2.99 each.
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.
READ THE PROLOGUE AND A TEASER HERE.
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Dylan Hopkins found love at an early age with his best friend Shane. But the path to happiness is far from paved for these two young lovers. Shane's father is verbally, emotionally and physically abusive and Shane carries those marks daily. Eventually they graduate and Dylan goes off to college, leaving Shane at home and under his controlling father's thumb. Though they try to find a way to be together, Shane finally reaches a breaking point and takes his own life while in the bowels of a deep depression.
Eight years later and Dylan has reconnected with Shane's younger brother Reed, and they work together as counselors for an LGBT advocacy agency. Dylan also volunteers as a big brother of sorts for a local boy's home, teaching them how to play baseball. He's dated and had a few partners here and there, but a piece of his heart was broken the night Shane died, and Dylan has come to terms with the fact that he will never find anyone to love that much again.
Connor Michelson has lost someone dear to him as well, his parents. An ex MMA fighter forced to leave the profession after a life threatening injury at the hands of, get this, his sisters abusive boyfriend. After he recovered, Connor packed up his sister and their lives and moved them away from all those painful memories, also fullfilling a dream to open his own gym. When Dylan and Reed wander into the gym one day, Dylan definitely notices the large, brooding, tatted up owner and soon enough there is a little innocent flirting flying around. And for the first time in a long time, Connor wants more than just a casual romance, he wants the white picket fence and the happy ever after. Dylan, however, doesn't know how to move past his love for Shane, or the fact that he blames himself for Shane's death. Can Connor show him how to let love live again?
This book was broken up into two parts, Dylan's past with Shane and that heartbreaking situation and then Dylan's present with Connor. The narration as well is told both from Dylan and Shane's perspectives, then Dylan and Connor's perspective, and it was this aspect to the story that was most intriguing for me. You are introduced to Dylan when he's a teenager and you take the journey of self awareness with him. Discovering he is gay, realizing he is in love with his best friend, going to college and then having to loose the love of his life in such a horrific way. While Sean Crisden voicing Dylan was my favorite character and narration, I was so taken with young Shane and his broken soul. That poor boy fought tooth and nail to try and be true to himself and his love for Dylan, and his father was just a horrible kind of evil that went out of his way to break down every fiber of his own son's being, until the poor kid felt his only out was suicide. I was balling like a baby, full on snot slinging blubbering!
Fast forward eight years and Dylan has turned his pain into something good. He and Reed found their way back to each other and are now best friends, they counsel troubled and bullied LGBT teens and try to make some kind of sense out of what happened to Shane. Sort of karmic payback for not being able to save Shane in a way. Enter Connor Michaelson, the one man that has more in common with Dylan than they realize at the start, and the one man that will not be ignored. Connor even tells Dylan the first time they kiss, it won't go any further with us unless you give me your time. That was one of the best lines taken in context I've ever read, or in this case heard.
I could sit here all night and praise this book. I absolutely loved it! Collins made me laugh, made me cry, tore my heart into shreds then glued it back together, and I thought only Amy Lane could do that. This story is heavy, it deals with bullying, parental abuse, suicide and the darker side of being an LGBT teenager. But then there is so much passion, love, courage and strength in the story as well, I was completely immersed in this story from the first chapter. So well written and woven together with the past, present and possible future of these three guys. And it was pure genius to use two different narrators to tell the different characters stories throughout. If you like slightly angsty stories fueled by strong characters and well written descriptives that truly bring the story to life, then you have to get a copy of this book!
Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.