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Dawson Barnes recognizes his world is very small and very charmed. Running his community college theater like a petty god, he and his best friend, Benji know they’ll succeed as stage techs after graduation. His father adores him, Benji would die for him, and Dawson never doubted the safety net of his family, even when life hit him below the belt.
But nothing prepared him for falling on Jared Emory’s head.
Aloof dance superstar Jared is a sweet, vulnerable man and Dawson’s life suits him like a fitted ballet slipper. They forge a long-distance romance from their love of the theater and the magic of Denny’s. At first it’s perfect: Dawson gets periodic visits and nookie from a gorgeous man who “gets” him—and Jared gets respite from the ultra-competitive world of dancing that almost consumed him.
That is until Jared shows up sick and desperate and Dawson finally sees the distance between them concealed painful things Jared kept inside. If he doesn’t grow up—and fast—his “superstar” might not survive his own weaknesses. That would be a shame, because the real, fragile Jared that Dawson sees behind the curtain is the person he can see spending his life with.
(From previous site)
This is a sweet story of two people, seemingly in opposite phases of life, coming together and finding love. Dawson, sort of trapped in an unrequited love finds Jared, who has never really had love, and together they just click, right from the start. But there are still hurdles to be overcome and both Jared and Dawson have to decide where their life is going and how to take control of that life if they want to be together.
Amy Lane’s stories are character driven and Dawson and Jared are amazing characters, so (of course) this is another amazing Amy Lane book. I just loved it. Amy is so good at giving us these bony limbed-kersplang-awkward characters that you can’t help but absolutely adore and then pairing them with a masterful, solid, yet somehow broken-needing-to-be-fixed character. Just when you think Dawson is the one who needs to grow up, you realize that, no, he is the rock in this relationship and poor Jared is the one who needs to be rescued.
Amy also excels at “friends” and Dawson’s friends (and family) are so wonderful and though they may try to steal the story, they only add to its richness and texture, by giving it greater depth.
The dialog in this book is funny, sweet, touching and wonderful, just like Jared and Dawson’s love for each other. I really enjoyed these guys and I hope we get to see them in future books, I didn’t want this one to end!
The narrator, Hugh Bradley, is new to me, but I will definitely look for him in the future. He did an amazing job, really brining the characters to life with his voices and inflection. He seemed to really “get” Dawson and Jared and their story. Sometimes a narrator can mess up a story for you, if you have already read it and already have a feel for the characters in your head. But Hugh seemed to be reading the same story as me, and I really enjoyed listening to his version. I highly recommend this audible as a companion to the book or all on its own.
5 out of 5 hearts