Sunday, November 22, 2015

ARC Review: If Only in My Dreams by Kiera Andrews

If Only in My Dreams
To be home for Christmas, they must bridge the distance between them.

Charlie Yates is desperate. It’s almost Christmas and his flight home from college has been delayed. For days. Charlie promised his little sister Ava he’d be home for her first holiday season since going into remission from leukemia. Now he’s stuck on the opposite coast and someone else grabbed the last rental car. Someone he hasn’t even spoken to in four years. Someone who broke his heart.

Gavin Bloomberg’s childhood friendship with Charlie ended overnight after a day of stolen kisses. With years of resentment between them, they don’t want to be in the same room together, let alone a car. But for Ava’s sake, Gavin agrees to share the rental and drive across the country together.

As they face unexpected bumps along the road, can Charlie and Gavin pave the way to a future together?

Todd's rating:


The only way that I could've liked this book any more is if there had been puppies. And maybe chocolate. But definitely puppies. : )

I hadn't read a book that made me feel so deeply in a while now, so the effortless ease with which Kiera pulled at my heart strings was a joy.

I straight-up loved 18 y.o. Charlie, whose concern for his 8 y.o. sister's leukemia was so touching that his emotions practically leapt off the page and into my throat.

And I felt so deeply for 18 y.o. Gavin's regret for past mistakes and burgeoning courage to finally come out and live the life he wanted.

In the ' dick move ' department, Gavin lobbed the first volley, but Charlie also made his own mistakes where Gavin was concerned.
His voice was barely a whisper. “You shouldn’t have dumped me like that. You didn’t know anyone when you moved to Norwalk, and I was your friend.

But then you got in with Candace and the popular kids, and overnight I was nothing to you. I know you’re not… even if you didn’t like me the same way, you were still my friend.”

He took a shaky breath. “You were the best friend I ever had. No one got me the way you did.”
However, through all of their resentment and hatred toward one another, the deep connection that the boys forged at 14 held steadily to their hearts and never relented.
“Forget it. It’s fine. We need to concentrate on getting home. It was all a long time ago. It doesn’t matter now anyway, right?”

I looked at his Adam’s apple bob as he rubbed his hands, and my fingers itched to touch. I wasn’t even sure where, exactly. Everywhere.

I’d watched him grow up from a distance, and being next to Charlie now make me tingle all over. It mattered so much that it stole my breath.
Yes, it mattered. Everything mattered.

But it takes a while for them to move beyond the sins of their pasts and I thoroughly enjoyed watching every moment of that process unfold.

And when the dam holding back their long-held emotions started to crumble, God, there were so many times that I wanted to crawl onto the page and hug them both.
Charlie shifted again, moaning as he woke, and the weight of everything I’d missed out on the last four years bore down like I was plummeting to the bottom of the ocean.

I sprang out of bed and into the bathroom, turning on the shower full blast so he wouldn’t hear me cry.
Other than the unlikely coincidence of how the boys ended up on their cross-country road trip together, this book was so believably real for me, it was truly heartbreaking and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next.

Besides the boys working out their own feelings, the only other real source of conflict came from Gavin's parents, who were in denial when it came to his 'choice' of sexuality, having kids and all that being gay might entail.

“Oh, Gavin. No. It’s just not right! Children need a mother and father.”

“Children need parents who love them the way they are!”

“I think—”
Dad’s voice was hoarse, and he cleared his throat. “I think we just need some time to get used to it.”

Quietly, I said, “You’ve had four years, Dad.”
But that subplot was handled well and didn't feel overly angsty.

Now, for the sex. Holy. Fucking. Hell.

Some of the things that came out of these two shy boys' mouths nearly made me blush, which is saying a hall of a lot, let me tell you!
Gavin asked, “Will you fuck me?” He seemed to hold his breath as the words escaped his lips.

Gavin shuddered. “It’s been my biggest fantasy. Being… being fucked.” He flushed. “Is that weird?”

“If by weird, you mean so hot I might come all over you at the thought.”
See, I told you so. : )

But the book had just the right amount of sex, with each scene feeling completely necessary to plot forwarding and never tipping over the line into gratuitous.

Yep, this 140 page story ticked off every single one of my "Hell yes!" buttons and I can't recommend it enough if you're looking for a damn good holiday read.

I'm giving this one a full 5 *heart-felt-and-sexy* stars for this tale of correcting past wrongs and true love overcoming all, eventually.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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