After his parents kicked him out for being gay, Marc Villegas lived on the streets before getting a second chance. Now he's giving back by working at a shelter for LGBT teenagers—because helping fight their demons keeps his own at bay. Including his infatuation with the former best friend he's sure is straight.
Anthony Romano hasn't seen Marc since Marc left home eight years ago. In his confidant's absence, Anthony turned to heroin. Now at rock bottom, he has an offer from Marc to help him get clean. Detox is hard and ugly, but not as hard as admitting the truth: he's in love with Marc. Always has been.
Marc swore he'd never date an addict, but he never dreamed the one in question would be the man he's always wanted to be with. As the two explore their feelings for each other, Marc faces a difficult choice. Say yes, and it could cost him his sobriety; say no, and it could cost him his heart.
Book 2 of Arthur's latest series was an entertaining read, but I must admit that I preferred book 1, "Come What May," a bit more than this story.
At 24, Marc has been sober for nearly 5 years, having overcome homelessness, prostitution and his battle with shooting up heroin, then co-founding an LGTB homeless shelter with Tate from book 1.
Former high school soccer star Anthony, Marc's ex-best friend, also had his life upended when Marc was kicked out of his home at 16 for being gay. Without Marc, Anthony was lost and ended up turning to drugs as an escape.
After an 8 year separation, Marc rescues Anthony from the streets and helps Anthony kick his own heroin addiction.
This story expectedly felt much more serious and somber than the first book, with Marc's "big secret" as to why he's so closed off and hates to be touched, keeping his friends, along with the reader, from really getting very close to him.
My biggest issue with this story was the lack of a physical connection, as I'm a sucker for cuddle time and tender touches. Yes, Marc's been abused, so I understand his aversion to hugs, comforting your partner and such, but I'm still not a big fan of books with physically and emotionally withdrawn MC's.
When the former best friends begin to date, once Anthony has 6 months of sobriety under his belt, earning back some of Marc's trust, they do get physically intimate; however, those scenes still came across as a bit distant in this story, especially compared to book 1.
Also, toward the end of the story, the Drama Llama did make a brief appearance, with Marc hitting Anthony twice, then throwing the lowest verbal blow of all at Anthony, followed by a shouted, "Get the fuck out of my house," which felt a bit manufactured and extremely out of character for Marc.
The story definitely kept me engaged while reading, but once I'd finished, I just had an odd feeling of not feeling completely satisfied, so I'd rate this one at around 3.5 stars overall.
My ARC copy of the story was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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