Scott Halleck and Julian Reeves are polar opposites in almost every way. Scott, a modern arts curator at a museum in Chicago, relishes the finer things in life. Julian is a strange photographer whose hair color changes as frequently as his mood. As far as Scott can see, Julian is an erratic know-it-all who lives his life one day to the next. To Julian, Scott is an uptight, too-coiffed perfectionist.
As the two men continue to run into each other, their dislike grows, but beneath that animosity, a fire is beginning to spark. Scott is baffled when he realizes he is falling for Julian, a man who burns hotter than a wildfire. Scott will have to decide, for the first time in his life, if he’ll let the flames take over.
Summers' prose is evocative and raw; it's silk and butter and a lightning strike.
Julian wasn't a flame, he was a forest fire, consuming everything in his path. He didn't know the meaning of the word flicker, or how to do anything but burn up everyone surrounding him.
What happens when the man you desire seeks out hurt and despair? When he mocks you, reels you in, then pushes you until you snap? When he's so fucked up, such a mess, so very wrong, that he's the only one who's right?
Scott is ordinary. He wears sensible, comfortable loafers; has a lovely boyfriend who makes tender love to him; visits his supportive parents; and makes polite conversation with colleagues.
Scott knows what happens when you get licked up by flames. You burn. And you rage.
Julian is angry and rebellious. He’s “not broken … just not complete.”
Scott meets Julian by chance again and again, until he craves him and needs him ... and ignores him when it matters most.
This book isn’t a romance. But it is a love story. And a tragedy.
The MCs are not together in the story. They connect and tear apart.
Julian doesn’t want to feel; he wants to be fucked and beaten into oblivion. Scott wants to be safe and returns to the calm and collected Ryan, even after Ryan realizes that he will never have Scott’s heart.
I couldn’t even be angry with Ryan. He was sweet. And he was right.
“I finally understand,” [Ryan] replied. “You’re having a hard time not loving him.”
“I’m having a hard time not hating him.”
“It’s the same thing, Scott.”
I am angry with this story for making me cry, angry at Scott for being a coward and giving what he wants instead of what he can, angry at Julian for running and giving up. I'm angry at the bleakness of it all.
I wanted a HEA, full of light and ordinary things being extraordinary.
But there was spring and silence and the bright blue sky ... and hope, fragile but not shaken.
So however Julian wanted my heart to beat, it would beat to his rhythm, and it would beat only for him.