After the loss of his parents, Archer Hart is consumed by grief. Each day, he struggles his way through classes, parties, and trying to put on a good front for the sake of his best friend. But at night, he falls asleep to the sound of gunshots ringing in his ears.
Mallory is a man fighting a war of emotions all his own. When his son invites his best friend back home to Banff over a college break, he’s happy for the company.
Some time during the late-night talks, subtle smiles, and long, long silences, the two men begin to find solace in one another.
But love isn’t always easy, especially when it strikes you straight through the heart.
--- Possible triggers/tags: grief, loss, age difference, family, loss, mentions of suicide, recovery, hurt/comfort, homophobia
Sometimes things just work...
I have to admit I'm head over heels in love with this book and honestly I'm not totally sure how to explain why, so I'm probably going to just ramble a little here.
Have you ever read a book and loved it just really loved it and had someone ask you why? And then you find that you don't really have a definitive reason. All you can say is 'because I did' that's pretty much what I'm feeling here. I know I've read books that are as good maybe even better but they didn't connect with me the way this one did. They didn't make me feel the way this one did.
Was it well written? Obviously I think it was and truthfully from as objective of a viewpoint as I can give I'm sure it was. Have I read books that were written better? Probably, I've been reading for around 50 years now so I'm sure there's a good chance that I've read books that technically speaking were better written and some of them I'm sure I liked as much or more than this one but I also know that there a fair number that I probably couldn't tell you much more about them, than the author's name and the book title, partly because it's been a long time since I read them but mostly because they didn't make a place in my heart the way this one did.
So what else do I know about this for sure, well I know I really liked the characters...
Archer grabbed my heart and shredded it from the first page and he also made me want to mother him...yep, it's milk and cookies time. He's had some really crappy things happen in his life and he's struggling so hard to deal with it all and I felt that. I mean seriously felt it. It was like a sucker punch to my heart.
And Mallory. He's the father of Archer's best friend, Danny. Mallory's fighting his own emotional demons, but when Danny drags Archer home for Thanksgiving, Mallory finds he likes his company and the two men become comfortable with each other almost immediately...no we're not talking insta-love or even lust here and that's probably one of the things that I can clearly say contributed to how much I liked this book.
The comfort level between these men, while it was quickly established it wasn't an excessive over the top thing. It was that day to day thing that happens to any of us when we meet a person. I know every time I meet a new person how comfortable I feel with them varies. The first time I met my best friend we started chatting like we'd known each other for years there was no awkwardness, we just started talking. The same with one of my son's friends from the minute he walked into our home he became one of my kids and yet ironically my son's partner and I took time to get to that level of comfort...don't get me wrong I adore that girl and heaven help anyone who hurts her because I am a momma lion and she is as much mine as my son is. Ok, I think I've made my point and hopefully it explains a bit about why I loved this story so much...simply put it was little things like this that added realism to the story for me.
On a more obvious note and just one more little thing that added to my enjoyment was the setting. Most of this story takes place in Banff, Alberta, CANADA and if you know anything about me you know that I am Canadian, and Banff is practically in my backyard, less than a 10 hour drive, so of course I've been there...I've been to the Tim Horton's that Mallory and Archer went to for coffee...l know if you've read the book you're probably thinking this girl's crazy there is no mention of Tim Horton's but you see there is...Mallory went through a drive-thru window and ordered Timbits and 2 regular coffees and there's only one place in Banff that you can do that. I know that every book can't be set in Canada and certainly not in places that I'm familiar with but needless to say when they are I also know that I can enjoy the hell out of it and I did.
I'm not sure where this author makes her home but if she's not from the Banff, Alberta area, she's either spent some time there or does really good research because her descriptions totally nailed the beauty of the place, and I really just want to say thank you for that, Ms Summers, it was yet another little thing that added to my love of this story.
'Arrows Through Archer' is not my first read from this author but it is definitely my favorite and one that I honestly hope to revisit. There was a balance to this one that I often look for in a story...there were bad times...heartache, sadness and loss, but there was also good stuff...love, joy and hope. It balanced and when it's done right like it was here the overall tone of the story creates a warm and harmonious imprint on my heart in a way that while hard to define is still very solid and real.
So that's my ramble. I have some very definite things that I know made this story enjoyable but truthfully those things aren't what I connected so strongly with, they helped but it wasn't what sealed the deal for me. I think it comes down to the fact that sometimes things just work and just like with the people in our lives we love who and what we love and reasons aren't really necessary.
********************An ARC of 'Arrows Through Archer' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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