Bradley Zelder can’t find his way in life. After struggling for nearly a decade, he has yet to complete his college degree. Working as a school custodian, living in blue-collar Landsbury, MA, his love life is as empty as the rest of his existence. But on his way home after another disastrous date, his truck breaks down in upscale Oceanside. When he thinks life can’t get any worse, a man who is the epitome of Boston elite and everything Bradley finds attractive and intimidating helps him move his truck to the side of the road. Ashamed of his lot in life, Bradley almost lets the opportunity slip away, but he comes to his senses in time and tracks Caleb down.
From a random act of kindness, romance begins to grow, filling all the dark corners of Bradley’s empty life—until a random act of violence threatens to take it all away. Bradley must step up and be the man Caleb believes him to be. Caleb rescued him from a life without hope. Can Bradley rescue him in return?
I am familiar with Mia Kerrick’s previous YA works so looked forward to seeing what she pulled out of her writer’s hat when it came to her foray into adult fiction. I was not disappointed. Mia gives us a story that is as feel good but socially relevant as her YA stories.
Bradley and caleb are two men who are both publicly out but who couldn’t be more different. Caleb is successful and has a fancy car and a great job. Bradley left university after someone he idolised gave what was meant as a throw away sort of remark but, which as these things often do, ended up devastating Bradley and sent him packing. Since then, he’s drifted along, working as a school custodian and entering into relationships based upon superficiality. Bradley is indeed a wounded soul, and it is his own model handsome looks that is at the root of his problems.
For one thing, the openly bisexual Bradley has quit looking for men. Yes, he’s bi, but he leaned more towards men at one point in time. Now he’s all about the ladies, but not if they get too attached as that way spells heartache for him, a legacy of his past that continues to haunt him. His current girlfriend thinks so many dates and now we’ve jumped in the sack a few times equals marriage talk, come meet my family so we can get the engagement chatter started time. She springs this on him in bed, and of course, he makes as graceful an exit as he can while bolting as fast as he can. On his way back home, which is in another town, his POS truck breaks down and he meets Caleb who stops to play Good Samaritan.
The two start off as if in a fairy tale, with the…should I, will he…okay, let’s give it a try routine, but it’s far from perfect. Along the way there are self doubts, demons from the past, and even a friend who turns out to have a hidden agenda. Both men find that what is beneath the surface is quite different than expected, and it makes for a bit of a roller coaster as they find their way.
A great read, especially on a cold grey day.
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