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Aaron Weiss knows how to escape. Years ago, he ran from a romantic disappointment and impulsively joined the Army. Now, he’s forced to take a medical discharge and readjusting to life at home proves a challenge.
Jesse Ross knows how to hide. He realizes he’s an oddball, and that he’s an outsider within his own family. He also knows his secret love since childhood, Aaron, only wants his good-looking, favored older brother. Yet Jesse could never completely abandon his intense feelings for Aaron. Over the years, Jesse was a faithful pen pal to him. Still, he’s shocked to his core to find Aaron on his doorstep.
As long-buried secrets and past hurts take center stage, the two are overwhelmingly drawn to each other. But it’s their future that may force them to risk everything.
Aaron fell in love with Jesse’s brother when they were kids. When he didn’t return the sentiment Aaron fled, but has harbored the crush for all these years.
Meanwhile Jesse has had a crush on Aaron ever since he knew what it was to want another person.
While Aaron was in the military he and Jesse formed a strong friendship through the mail but still, Aaron harbors nothing more than a vague feeling of companionship for Jesse and a burning hot adoration for his brother.
One day, after Aaron is sent home from the military for a bad heart, he goes to visit Jesse and is surprised at the man Jesse has become.
Jesse, a loner from the beginning, has only become more of a recluse over time, doesn’t know what to do with his childhood crush. On the one hand he thinks he’s just as gorgeous as ever, but doesn’t know how to like someone who can “like” his huge jerk of a brother.
Finally – FINALLY – Aaron manages to see Jesse for the amazing man he is and to see the other crush he’s harbored all these years was nothing more than a mirage.
It looks like the couple is really going to make it work when Aaron’s medical troubles drive him to the hospital again. Aaron doesn’t want Jesse to be burdened with anyone less than perfect so he pushes Jesse away. Fortunately Jesse fights for Aaron, and after a brief, but tense period apart, Aaron pulls his head out and the two re-unite… forever.
In this book, Aaron (Dean’s friend) is nothing like you’d expect an ex-military man to be. In fact, Jesse is the hard-ass of the relationship.
I really enjoyed watching Jesse deal with his social anxiety and the support he got from Aaron. I also really liked that Jesse was NEVER a wimp. He put up a good fight and Aaron really had to work hard to convince him what they have is real.
The secondary characters, ie brother, parents, friends; were all very well thought out and really added to the realistic feel of the story. The sub-plot with Jesse’s family was fascinating. I could really feel his pain at being “the red-headed-step-child” of the family.
I enjoyed this book when I read it and Matt Baca did an excellent job with the audio. He did a nice vaguely Brooklyn accent when needed and it was clear who was speaking.
I give both the book and the audiobook 4.5 hearts, I really enjoyed them!