Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6457
Josh’s idea of a romance is curling up alone and reading a novel with a happily ever after. He’s made his flat a safe haven where the wall are covered with beautiful words, and his living room ceiling is a map of the universe.
Angus may be shy and inexperienced, but he’s incapable of hiding anything, especially his attraction to his older neighbor.
When Josh admits to Angus that he’s gay, he doesn’t expect Angus’s reaction. Angus’s obvious interest terrifies Josh. For years he’s managed to keep the world at arm’s length and avoid getting too close to anyone. Well, anyone except Elenor, Angus’s mother, who helped Josh rebuild his life after he was hospitalized for depression. But Josh still thinks he’s broken. His past has left scars he thinks are too deep to heal. Despite Josh’s defenses, Angus begins to mean more to him than just the cute boy next door. If Josh can take a risk and let someone into his isolated world, he might have a chance for a real life happy ending.
Josh has severe depression, and has been hospitalized for it in the past. He is estranged from his biological family but has built himself a support system of people where he lives now. One of those is Eleanor, his neighbor, the mother of Angus.
Eleanor has anxiety issues that are slowly making her life unbearable. Angus turns to Josh for help and more.
Josh feels like he isn’t stable enough to help either Eleanor or Angus but Eleanor was there for him when he needed her and he can’t help but be infatuated with the adorable and innocent Angus (who clearly has a crush on Josh.)
Together, Angus and Josh navigate the health system to find the right solution for Eleanor and along the way the right solution for themselves, as well.
This was a very, very, very dark read. The issues these guys face are real, and heavy and not likely to ever go away.
The romance is very slow burn – sometimes painfully slow.
I was glad that having a “boyfriend” wasn’t offered up as a solution to Josh’s depression, Josh was very clear with Angus about the future and it does seem hopeful. However, I wasn’t given a lot of page time with him and Angus to know if their coupledom will be successful long term – Angus is so young and Josh’s illness is severe.
The writing is excellent as is the editing. If you are in the mood for a dark, yet hopeful romance, with a very positive ending about a difficult subject – this is the book for you.
For me – I’d have liked to see more of the romance and less of the internal dialog. I would shift the balance of the book to at least 50/50 build up and coupledom because I really think they have their work cut out for them and that it doesn’t end just because they say the magic three words.
I really didn’t feel that connected to Angus (this is told from Josh’s POV) and as a result I just don’t know what compels him as well as I’d like.
3.5 of 5 hearts
Love the cover!