Published April 7th 2015 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
The strength to walk away from an abusive long-term relationship proves Em is a survivor. But surviving isn’t necessarily living, and Em has created a life on a plateau of his own making, not even entertaining the idea of a new boyfriend. When he shows interest in a very sexy barista, his best friend sees a chance to open Em’s eyes to the possibilities in life.
Penn couldn’t help his double and triple take when the sexy man walked into his mother’s coffee shop. Priding himself on always remaining calm and collected in all situations, Penn is surprised by the strength of his attraction for this stranger. When the stranger’s loud-mouthed friend proposes a way for Penn to see Em again, he takes it.
While Em comes with baggage—his eyes tell a story of pain and distrust—Penn isn’t one to shy away from a challenge, especially when his heart is so quickly getting tied up in the equation, and he’s prepared to break through Em’s walls and give him a chance to trust.
Published August 6th 2015 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
Em’s relationship with Penn is going remarkably well. Even with the hassles of Em’s lascivious best friend and Penn’s demanding job, they’ve managed to build what could possibly be something long-lasting. Unfortunately for Em, every time life seems to flow right, the wrong always hits.
Penn admits dating Em isn’t easy. Many people would steer clear of the emotional baggage. But once Penn glimpses the man behind the unseen scars, he’s a goner. Not one to mince words, and because his boyfriend needs to hear it, Penn makes sure Em knows how he feels every day...even if Em isn’t ready to return the sentiment.
Then, with one surprise phone call, Penn finally learns why Em doesn’t share his heart easily. When someone is never given emotional security, how can they possibly know how to feel it, to reciprocate it? That’s okay. Penn is a tenacious man with one chief purpose right now—to give Em a chance to love.
Review by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 4 of 4 Stars
(Based on Short&Light Read Category)
This is a trilogy but there are only two books out so far. This review is based on the first two books.
Em went into a relationship that soon turned sour and abusive. Not in the physical sense as readers are more familiar with, but the mental and emotional kind. His partner of five years made him feel less than what he was and it came to the point where he could no longer think past his insecurities for fear of failure. The one good thing is Em's best friend, Joss, who not only made sure to get him bodily out of that relationship from hell but to get him back on his feet. This story takes place around two years later when Joss decides that Em is ready and so makes the moves and talks for him.
Penn was standing in as a barista for his mother's coffee shop when in walks a very interesting but quiet man. It is the friend, Joss, however, who makes sure Penn sets his eyes on that quiet man and both men make plans. Penn arrives at Em's place ready to take him out on a date. He did not expect Joss to be there taking prom pictures of them. Neither did he expect Em to come with a bit of baggage. Instead of making him disinterested, however, Penn's protective instincts kick in and the date proceeds. Their first date is what sets the pace for this first installment. Penn makes sure to gain Em's trust and in the process, delights in Em's intelligence and courage. Breaking down Em's barriers sounds easy enough, but to actually step into the personal space is a different matter altogether when the body is willing but the mind screams NO!
Book two opens with Em and Penn in a trusting but budding relationship. Em's trust in Penn is on sure footing and Penn's love for Em is verbalized and expressed openly. The problem is Em's inability to say the words back but his actions speak louder. Penn is set to wait out patiently for that time when Em does say the words but is in no hurry. It is when the parents from hell call Em does Penn realize the why's of Em's resistance to saying the L word.
Em and Penn embark on this particular journey filled with distrust for the parents who abandoned Em. In the process, they meet an unusual character who, with his dog, enter the house where a reading of a will is set. Why are the parents all set to embrace Em once more? Why was Em even called in? At the end of this installment, readers are left with a lot of questions that are sure to be answered in the third and final book.
The back to back read is what made these stories work for me. If I had read these months apart, I would not even have bothered. This is the weakness of a trilogy story for it sets a certain pace but is too short and the HFN is hanging. Patience is sometimes not a virtue readers hold on to. That said, I would recommend the reading of this trilogy like I did, back to back. Thankfully, even with just the two books so far, it is enough to gain my curiousity meter pinging and wanting to find out how it will all pan out for Em and Penn.
Note: Joss is a very interesting supporting character who steals the show when he does show up. It would be interesting to read his story later on, should the author deem it wise to write his story. Now that, I am impatient for.
NoteNote: eARC copy provided for by Pride Promotions for an honest review.