Monday, July 9, 2018

ARC Review: Over and Over Again by Cole McCade

Over and Over AgainFrom the blurb:

A ring of braided grass. A promise. Ten years of separation. 
And memories of an innocent love with the power to last through time. 
When Luca Ward was five years old, he swore he would love Imre Claybourne forever. Years later, that promise holds true—and when Luca finds himself shipped off to Imre’s North Yorkshire goat farm in disgrace, long-buried feelings flare back to life when he finds, in Imre, the same patiently stoic gentle giant he’d loved as a boy. The lines around Imre’s eyes may be deeper, the once-black night of his hair silvered to steel and stone…but he’s still the same slow-moving mountain of a man whose quiet-spoken warmth, gentle hands, and deep ties to his Roma heritage have always, to Luca, meant home. 
The problem? 
Imre is more than twice Luca’s age. 
And Luca’s father’s best friend. 
Yet if Imre is everything Luca remembered, for Imre this hot-eyed, fey young man is nothing of the boy he knew. Gone is the child, replaced by a vivid man whose fettered spirit is spinning, searching for north, his heart a thing of wild sweet pure emotion that draws Imre into the compelling fire of Luca’s frustrated passions. That fragile heart means everything to Imre—and he’ll do anything to protect it. 
Even if it means distancing himself, when the years between them are a chasm Imre doesn’t know how to cross. 
But can he resist the allure in cat-green eyes when Luca places his trembling heart in Imre’s hands…and begs for his love, over and over again?

Heather's rating:

*3.75 stars*, rounded up for the explosion of emotions at the end of the story. 

Over and Over Again was my first book by Cole McCade and it was a whopper, clocking in at nearly 700 pages. But though the story was lengthy and took me a long time to read, I found it to be really satisfying and completely worth my time.

Over and Over Again is a meal of a story, not a snack.

First of all, in case anyone is curious, Imre's name is pronounced eeee-mm-ray. TBH, I was sort of saying "Ernie" with an "m" sound and mushing it together in my head because that's just what popped in there when I started reading (yes, I know my random pronunciation doesn't make sense). It sounds much prettier the real way, though he'll always be Er-m-ie to me.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's get to the meat of things: the story. I was concerned a bit about the relationship between Irme and Luca because of their almost uncle/nephew relationship from childhood. I love an age gap, but I do NOT do incest, and I was worried that it would get a little... creepy. To be frank, it did get a bit close to that line for me at times, but I was able to push past it. I had to remind myself that I was also 19 when I met my older husband, and that helped a bit.

The story is very... poetic. The whole plot trudges along slowly and methodically. The goats need checking on. The food gets cooked. There is a languid pace to the story that I surprisingly liked. There is a reason that the story is so long and that is due to the plethora of farming and atmospheric details. Though I think some repetitiveness could have been paired away, I was surprisingly engaged for the whole story. Sure, I wasn't glued to my Kindle (except for the stellar final 20% or so), but I was never bored while reading. And the writing was truly like poetry at times. Very beautiful descriptors and lots of sensory details made for a lovely reading experience.

I guess I would call this a slow-burn romance, though there is an intimacy there between the MCs from the start. Both characters start off loving each other, in a way, but the physical side takes its time to develop. I thought that the slow burn was very well done, and we got the right amount of heat by the end. I also really loved how Irme was demisexual, which fit right in with his personality and his approach to relationships.

One thing that killed me about Irme was how he rarely spoke in contractions. I know the author was trying to portray the fact that English was perhaps not his first language, but it's always awkward for me to read wordy sentences sans contractions for some reason.

Though it took me over a week to read, Over and Over Again really impressed me by the end. I loved, loved, loved Cole McCade's writing style, and I could easily see him becoming a favorite author of mine. Especially in the last 20% when he made me choke up and feel a huge rush of emotions that took me by surprise. Excellent ending.

Take a chance on Over and Over Again.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

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Enjoy, my friends!!

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