Richard has had a hard life. He served in the military, where he lost the use of his legs, and has been struggling to make his way since coming home. Now that he no longer has a place to live, Morgan takes him in, but when someone attempts to set fire to Morgan’s house, they both become suspicious and wonder what’s going on.
Years ago Morgan was gutted when he moved away, leaving Richard behind, so he’s happy to pick things up where they left off. But now that Richard seems to be the target of an arsonist, he may not be the safest person to be around.
Buy links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Tams gives this one 4.5 Stars...
Can two men that meant the world to each other a lifetime ago find that happiness again?
Morgan Ayers was barely a teenager when his mom died and his dad sought comfort at the bottom of a bottle. Unable to hold down a job and under constant threat from child services, Morgan and his dad moved around a lot, but he never forgot his best friend... his first friend and so much more. Close to two decades later Morgan finds that friend again through a strange twist of fate and realizes he still cares just as much, if not more, for him.
Richard Smalley dreamed of being a career Marine, but a failed mission in Iraq left too many of his fellow soldiers dead, and left Richard without the use of his legs. A fire in the home he's staying at puts Richard in the hospital after he's pulled from the fire by one of the firefighters, unconscious, but alive. Once again, he loses everything, but finds something so much better in the end.
This is a book that is all about second chances. Morgan was only thirteen years old when he and Richie were pretend married by a bossy little girl they rode horses with. But that event was a catalyst in his life, something that stayed with him all the years he and Richie were apart. He'd just lost his mother and then his father moves them away, but over the years, through time and distance, he never forgot about Richie and everything they shared.
While Morgan fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a Firefighter, Richie joined the Marines and went to war. The man that came home, the man that Morgan finds in the hospital when he realizes it's his Richie, has changed. Battle changes people, and Richie has a body and mind full of scars to remind him of that. Morgan gets a second chance to embrace the love he feels for Richie which only grows stronger with each passing day. Richie, well he gets a second chance at life. He has to dig deep to find the person he is, the soul that is buried under all the pain, regret and secrecy wrapped up in his time in the military.
Grey did his research for this one, Richie's PTSD was so very real, his pain and uncertainty was palpable, his regret and denial and feeling like he isn't worthy of anyone's love, much less Morgans, it broke my heart. Morgan does not handle him with kid gloves though. No, he pushes Richie to fight for what he wants, to take the PTSD by the balls and find a way to live with it. But the whole time he's pushing Richie to fight for what he wants, what he needs, what he deserves but has convinced himself he isn't worthy of... he is also pulling Richie closer, showing him with actions and words how much he cares for him, how much he wants and needs him. Some demons won't be buried though, and there is one in particular that wants to be damn certain Morgan and Richie do not get their happy ever after.
I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this story, aside from the mystery revealed. The suspense and the constant niggle of danger, when finally brought into the open, was a little anticlimactic for me. One of the things I enjoyed about this story was the soul mates reference and the way Grey let that play out. And getting to catch up with Kevin and Angus (Bronco's Boys series) was fun, I liked the role they played in this book. I'm so very excited to see where this new series from one of my favorite Authors goes. Will the next book be the overzealous young Firefighter? Or perhaps the story of the long established gay couple that are friends of Morgan? Only time will tell!
Overall this was a great read, well written and entertaining with the right balance of mystery, intrigue, passion and sexy men that run into burning buildings.
Andrew Grey writes contemporary Gay Romance. He grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation. Andrew's hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world's most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.