Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Oliver and Samuel’s relationship is fairy-tale perfect. They share a gorgeous house in Antwerp, go out with their friends every weekend, and count down the days to their dream wedding. But their happy ending is shattered one late night, and just like that, Ollie is left bereft and alone.
The months that follow are long and dark, but slowly Ollie emerges from his grief. He even braves the waters of online dating, though deep down he doesn’t believe he can find that connection again. He doesn’t think to look for love right in front of him: his bisexual friend Thomas, the gentle giant with a kind heart and sad eyes who’s wanted him all along.
When Thomas suddenly discovers he has a son who needs him, he’s ill prepared. Ollie opens up his house—Sam’s house—and lets them in. Ollie doesn’t know what scares him more: the responsibility of caring for a baby, or the way Thomas is steadily winning his heart. It will take all the courage he has to discover whether or not fairy tales can happen for real.
Usually a blurb is a taste of what happens in the book at the beginning, but this blurb seemed a bit misleading as it pretty much tells about the whole entire book. For instance, Thomas’s son does appear until well past the halfway point in the story, perhaps only in the last third it seemed.
The first third of the story was a total tearjerker, so very, desperately sad and hard to listen to. I felt so awful for Ollie and for Samuel. The aftermath of his death I felt was handled well as far as the grieving process, but I found it interesting that he had no real interest in seeing justice served on the man who had killed his fiancé.
In the second third of the story, I began to feel bad for Thomas as well. I also found myself wondered what it had been about Ollie that had him fall in love when he first met him on what he’d thought was a date, so deeply that it lasted all those years. Thomas was an interesting character, and I especially liked that he was unabashedly bisexual. Although I did connect with him and feel for him, I felt his history and backstory was a bit sketchy. And his messing around with everyone, and I do mean everyone… even a friend, and then hooking up with a guy on a trip even though he still obviously was not over Ollie rather bothered me as well.
Aside from the moments of joy at the beginning, there was mostly angst, pain and grieving, loss and unrequited love, and problems coming from right and left for the first full two thirds of this story. Not only for Ollie (and Sam), but also Thomas, as well as their friend Chloe. Also I felt awful for Peter, the nice vet who Ollie hooked up with and used as his first sex with another man (ever) after Sam’s death. He seemed such a sweet guy, and he obviously cared. When little Milo arrived on the scene, things begin to lighten up just a bit, but even then, it was interspersed with yet more problems, drama, and angst.
Despite that, I enjoyed this audiobook. The writing was good, and I felt that the narrator did an excellent job of bringing the characters to life, making me feel their individuality and emotions. It was also easy to listen to and understand, which is not always true when there are accents. The narration was consistent, sounded authentic to the area, was easy to listen to and held my attention. I would be glad to pick up other audios narrated by Craig Beck.
I liked the cover by Lou Harper, although the guy with the darker hair who is Thomas doesn’t seem to be larger than the other guy as described in the book.
Book Details: 6 hrs, 42 mins
Published July 14th 2016 by Riptide Publishing