Author: Nash Summers
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Scott Halleck and Julian Reeves are polar opposites in almost every way. Scott, a modern arts curator at a museum in Chicago, relishes the finer things in life. Julian is a strange photographer whose hair color changes as frequently as his mood. As far as Scott can see, Julian is an erratic know-it-all who lives his life one day to the next. To Julian, Scott is an uptight, too-coiffed perfectionist.
As the two men continue to run into each other, their dislike grows, but beneath that animosity, a fire is beginning to spark. Scott is baffled when he realizes he is falling for Julian, a man who burns hotter than a wildfire. Scott will have to decide, for the first time in his life, if he’ll let the flames take over.
Review: I loved Vices by this author so I jumped at the chance to read another book by Nash Summers. The woman can write some brilliantly emotional stories. This is a tough one to review. I know I loved it but I also didn’t like it. Meaning this isn’t your typical love story. These MCs are a mess. Neither man had a horrific childhood with heart wrenching reasons they are the way the are. They just are. Which I really appreciated. Some people just stumble. I can’t say that either character is terribly likable but they evoke so much emotion you can’t help but be drawn into their story. It’s ugly and raw. This is not your normal m/m romance for sure. And yet in the end there is a beautiful HEA for Scott and Julian.
Scott is trying to fall in love the a gorgeous and wonderful man. He tries to be everything he should be. Or at least what he thinks everyone thinks he should be. He’s able to pretend he can be happy being that person until he meets Julian. Julian is a complete jerk. Rude and crass but hauntingly beautiful.. Scott should hate him but Julian stirs this dark need he has inside of him. He intrigues Scott. Julian is a void of a man. Punishing himself over and over for a past mistake. He’s unable to climb out of his black hole he lives in until he meets Scott and sees something mirrored in the stuffy yuppy man. If you look at the two and their current lives there’s no way you’d put them together as friends or a couple. They’re both broken somehow and Julian recognizes it when he sees Julian.
Parts of this story did feel choppy but I didn’t care because I was turning the pages to find out what happened with them. Their push and pull was heartbreaking. The writing was poignant. I adored that the characters were a mess and will never really reach that happy place “normal” people in stories seem to. They do manage to find love and companionship together when most people would write them off as crazy. They’re some very messed up soul mates but who cares because they’re so damn good together. I love and hate these characters. They made me smile and shake my head in disgust. Days later I’m still thinking about them.