Give Yourself Away

Author: Barbara Elsborg

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Rating: 2 stars

Buy Links: Samhain and Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher


Blurb: One guy intent on caution. One an adrenaline junkie. Love could be one risk too many.

March is determined to lose the numbness that accompanies a history of loss and blame. Desperate to feel something—anything—the adrenaline junkie base jumps off cliffs, soars on hang gliders, and embarks on dangerous sea-borne rescue missions. But any release he feels is fleeting, and when you play Russian roulette with fate, eventually you come crashing down.

No matter how hard Caleb tries to forget his past, a dark shadow is always behind him. When a bizarre turn of events results in him being trapped in a sea cave, Caleb wonders how his mantra—safety at all costs—could have failed him. On the point of drowning, he’s stunned when March surfaces in the cave.

March’s disregard for the rules saves Caleb’s life but gets March into a heap of trouble. Not least of which is the guy shivering in the boat next to him. March tries to ignore Caleb but it’s already too late. Together, they take small, awkward steps toward love. But Caleb’s past is waiting to sink in its claws…and this time, it could drag him to his death.

Product Warnings: This book contains difficult flashbacks of child abduction and sexual violence, but also the incredible perseverance of two men who never give up on love—or each other. Bring your tissues and a heart that believes in the resilience of the human spirit. 


Review:  I’ve really liked some of this author’s previous books so I’m almost always up for trying her next one. Sadly this one was not for me. For full disclosure I HATE rapey rape fest books. AND this is one. Yes it’s on page. There is a warning. I didn’t like it just because of all the rape. I’ve read tons of books with rape in it I liked. For me this one just never managed to make reading about it all worth it in the end. There’s in lots of drama. Way over the top characters. Far out plot twists. Yeah this book was not for me. I probably would have DNF it if I hadn’t needed to give it a fair shot for review purposes. This is all just my opinion as any review is.

Caleb and his best friend are kidnapped when they’re young. The friend escapes but 11 year old Caleb endures 12 years being raped and tortured by his captor. He’s drugged and pimped out when he’s no longer young enough for the creepy man who took him. I won’t go into how he escapes but he does. Only to fall into one night stands and a bad relationship. The most recent is an abusive ex porn star who cheats on him and then beats him up. Then dumps him. He runs off and is saved from drowning in a cave by March the professor accused of sexual misconduct who works part time in water rescue. Despite just having gotten out of an abusive relationship Caleb decides he’d like to date March except March is in the closet. Oh and someone seems to be trying to kill all his exes and stalking him.

I’m trying to keep this short because I don’t have many nice things to say about this book. IF we could have wiped out about 90% of the drama and rape I think the couple could have been enjoyable to read about. There was enough struggle in the relationship to keep me interested. As it is written there’s no way I’m able to get into to sex scenes that follow a 14 year old boy being kept hostage to be tortured and raped repeatedly. The way the story is told you bounce from present to past. It’s jolting and traumatizing to the point I can’t let go and enjoy the book. It’s not only my aversion to rape, it’s a bunch of improbably situations thrown together that you have to suspend your reality to believe. It’s high angst and drama. There’s not even those redeeming moments that make reading these types books worth it. No painful journey that makes it all worth it in the end. I didn’t even feel emotionally attached to Caleb and found his carefree attitude about it all kind of disturbing at times. It’s just page after page of really awful stuff or March having gay sex for the first time in his life. This book just wasn’t for me.

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