How do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?
Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.
It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued Art Deco building on the WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the artistic, sweet man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.
When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.
I'm probably going to ramble a bit here because I really don't know where to start with this. I can say with all honesty I had no idea what I was getting into I didn't even read the blurb I saw the title, I saw the authors name and I made grabby hands. That was it done deal. I didn't need to know anything more.
About 2 pages into the story I was hooked, you couldn't make me stop reading this if you tried and believe me real life did it's damnedest and I just kept reading. Everything that I could possibly put on hold so that I could read I did...including sleeping.
Jake Moore's just an ordinary guy...he works as a welder and uses every penny he can to take care of his dying father...the man who has gone out of his way to do nothing more than make life a living nightmare for both Jake and his mother. The woman who made Jake promise that he'd take care of him if anything were to happen to her. Sadly, Jake really loved his mother so he's doing his best to keep his promise even if it kills him and honestly it just might.
Dallas Yates is a pretty ordinary guy too, but his life's been very different from Jake's. His family may be quirky but it's filled with love, lots and lots of unconditional love. When Dallas finds himself looking at an art deco building on the fringes of WeHo it's not the nearly impossible to see potential that the building holds that convinces him this is the place to open up his club...nope, it's shy smile of the metal worker across the street that seals the deal for him.
Jake sees everything he's ever wanted in Dallas, but he's been told his entire life that what he wants is perverted and wrong...but if that's true then he can't help but wonder why does being with Dallas feel like something's finally gone right for him for the first time in his life."Who fucked you up, Jake?" Dallas wondered softly. "Who reached into that pretty soul of yours and tore it apart?"
Dallas sees Jake. Not the drawn in tightly held person that Jake presents to the rest of the world. The Jake that he sees is so much more...he's smart, funny, he's so damned beautiful it makes Dallas's heart ache and he's talented the things he can do wit some scraps of metal and a welding torch can leave a person speechless and while Dallas is pretty sure from the start that Jake's it for him. He also sees that Jake may never be ready for the relationship that Dallas wants...so what's a guy to do? Be a friend because it's painfully obvious that Jake needs one of those so with the encouragement and support of his friend Celeste, who I'm convinced is her own force of nature...
"He hurts you, punches you, or even farts in your general direction, I will kick his ass," Celeste declared fiercely,... "Well, as soon as I buy a new pair of shoes to do it with. Ass kicking requires some serious shoes."
There's probably a lot about this relationship that shouldn't work for example Jake and Dallas don't exactly have balance in their relationship, but realistically relationships often aren't balanced all the time...life's not always fair, that's just how it works sometimes. Relationships are give and take but unfortunately it's often more give and less take for one partner or the other and these things frequently shift but in the case of Dallas and Jake we didn't really see this happen and yet it still worked.
For Dallas this wasn't about what was in it for him. It was about Jake. He saw a man that deserved to be loved and yet no one ever had and even if it only ever meant being his friend, Dallas wanted to change that. He wanted to help Jake see himself as someone deserving of love, he wanted to world to see the Jake that he saw. This more than
anything spoke so strongly to how different Jake and Dallas's lives had been.
Jake spent his whole life being used and abused. He'd never known what it was like to have someone love him...just because he was. Dallas gave him this and that kind of love neither wants nor needs reciprocity.
Dallas grew up surrounded by love. Never wanting for it and always knowing that the more he gave to the world the more that came back to him. Life may not have always been perfect for him but he always had the love and support of his family...he never had to question it or his self worth.
While it was Jake who needed to make the journey and find himself, in the end it was Dallas's willingness to be there from start to finish that helped Jake find the inner-strength that he needed to go from the darkness that he'd spent his whole life in to a life that held the promise and hope of a world filled with more.
'There's This Guy' worked for me. I felt it and I got the connections and while it may not have been for everyone, I'm betting we all have at least one story like this. A story that in spite of it's seemingly dark tones speaks to us of love, hope and promise for a better tomorrow...one that let's us stand in the sunshine and hope for more.
An ARC of 'There's This Guy' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are. (Mason Cooley)
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