Friends since they met in school, Ashton and Brighton soon become much more. Ash and his aunt are Brighton’s haven away from his mess of a family, and when Ash enlists in the Army, Brighton learns to endure his long absences and eagerly awaits his return from missions.
Until one day Ash doesn’t come back, and Brighton thinks his greatest fear has come true.
Months pass and Brighton grieves for Ash, not knowing that a terrible misunderstanding sent Ash running, unable to cope when he thought Brighton had betrayed him. Even after an emotional reunion, their relationship isn’t the same—Brighton is now responsible for his young niece, and he’s having a hard time rediscovering the trust he once had in Ash. Ash must still tend to his mental health, but before he can, he’ll have to deal with a past secret that puts all their lives at risk. With so many forces determined to tear them apart, can Brighton and Ash hold on to each other and never let go?
Ashton and Brighton have been friends for most of their lives...falling in love just seemed like a natural progression in their relationship. Ashton protected Brighton and along with his Aunt Petey gave Brighton a place to feel safe and loved when he first came out to his parents. When Ashton enlisted in the military Brighton was always there waiting for him to come home on leave...waiting for him to come home after his final mission and the end of his tour of duty...only things went wrong and Ashton never came home. Brighton was left believing that the man he loved was dead and Brighton was left trying to put himself back together with only half his heart.
It's nearly two years later when Ashton and Brighton see each other again. Neither man is the same. Brighton has a niece to raise following the death of his sister. Ashton's still recovering both physically and mentally from the mission that nearly ended it all for him.
This one started out good for me and I liked the initial reunion between Ashton and Brighton. While the men were separated in part because of a misunderstanding when they finally talked it wasn't an over the top dramatic event and while the forgiveness came fairly easily it wasn't done in an unrealistic way things didn't instantly fall into place. It felt more like an acknowledgment of mistakes made and a willingness to try again.
Unfortunately it's not enough that Ashton and Brighton have to work through their own circumstances and get to know each other again...to learn the changes. They also find themselves having to possibly face Ashton's reaction to the news that his nightmares may be looking for him.
There were things that for me just detracted from the story and niggled at me. Things like the fact that the reason Ashton had originally stayed away quite honestly made sense to me and Ashton's actions were done purely out of his love for Brighton and because he thought Ashton was happy and he didn't want to risk spoiling that for him. The fact that Brighton seemed to understand where Ashton was at one minute and then the next he acted like Ashton now should be the same Ashton who enlisted in the military years earlier and hadn't endured what he had...in other words at times Brighton just seemed a little wishy, washy in his responses and how he felt about things emotionally. He loved Ashton enough to always be waiting for him, to understand when they put their plans for the future on hold while Ashton served in the military. He loved him enough to want to try again when they were reunited and suddenly when Ashton's behavior isn't what Brighton thinks it should be, even knowing what Ashton suffered Brighton's giving ultimatums and saying that he can't do it anymore and they're through? WTF? For me it felt like this was when Ashton needed someone the most. His behavior was like a neon sign screaming that Ashton needed help and Brighton walked away.
As much as I was enjoying the beginning of this book for me the last part of the story just wasn't working and then we got what was almost a magical HEA and things just ended up being ok and not as awesome as they'd started out being.
********************An ARC of 'Never Let You Go' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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