At eighteen Christopher is restless and longs for something he cannot name. His mother vanished when he was very small and after spending more than ten years travelling on the rivers and canals, drifting between towns and schools, with mostly only his dad and brother, Jay, for company, he is desperate to escape that claustrophobic existence.
When they return to settle in Arlow, a town they haven’t been back to in over a decade, everything changes.
Malachi has given up on love. He lost his heart when he lost his innocence. Now at twenty nine he just exists--getting drunk, fixing cars and playing the music he loves.
When their paths cross one night at a gypsy camp, Christopher thinks he's found what he's been looking for, but Malachi is afraid. He is afraid their love will destroy everything Christopher has ever known. They are both ghosts from one another's past, and if Malachi's secrets are revealed more than just innocence will be lost in their wake.
I'm having slightly mixed feelings about this read. The book was beautifully written. The words were both powerful and touching. The first chapter was very engaging and made me sit up straighter as I proceeded with my reading.
As the chapters progressed, the beautiful words continued on, just as they had before; however, the sheer volume of them became distracting.
I was literally reading and reading and reading and reading, then looked at the page number and said, "Is that seriously *all* the progress that I've made so far?"
I realize that I'll probably get the hairy eyeball from several readers for saying this, but the number of *words* as compared to the number of actual *events* happening made me want to begin skimming pages.
I didn't skim though. I read every painstakingly-crafted, beautiful word.
So, just as I did above when using 140+ words to say " poetic, but wordy ", I felt that the story could have used a bit more focus on its progression from plot point to plot point.
Point in case, the blurb sounds very Christopher and Malachi focused, but at around 75% through the book, my feeling was that I knew more about nearly everyone in the story than I did Malachi.
At the very least, I knew as much about the other characters and Malachi felt almost like an MC#3 to me, behind Christopher's little brother, Jay.
By that point, also, I wasn't sure that there were sufficient pages remaining to fully flush out a believable romance between Christopher and Malachi (aka Kai.)
But there were and the last 25% of the book was extremely well-paced and engaging. If the book up to that point had been as well-progressed, the majority of my words above would only be expletives describing my undying love for the book. : (
Christopher and Malachi do get their HEA and, as I said, the story is beautifully written, which I challenge anyone to deny.
I do wish that the first three-fourths of the story was as concise as it was touching.
My copy of the book was provided by the publisher for a fair, unbiased review.
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