Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
It’s not always possible to meet in the middle.
Registered nurse Evan Doyle doesn’t consider himself fit for more than occasional hookups. He has a good life, but the emotional aftermath of a horrific crime makes him feel too damaged to date. So when his sister’s hot bestie, Malcolm Umbertini, comes on to him, he turns him down flat. Mal is Relationship Material: the kind who thinks in the long term. What would Evan do with a man like that?
As a prosecuting attorney, Mal’s learned how to read people, and he knows there’s more to Evan than meets the eye. Mal has faced his own hardships since his family kicked him out as a teen, and he respects Evan’s courage and emotional resilience. More than that, he wants Evan—in his bed and in his life. But can he weather another rejection?
Both wary, they agree to a no-strings fling. Mal knows that Evan wants things to stay casual, but he’s falling in love a little more with each encounter. With health, happiness, and bruised hearts on the line, Mal and Evan must risk everything for love.
I am still not totally sure what I thought of this book, while I enjoyed it there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way too. Mal and Evan have been hurt by those in their pasts and though those experiences were drastically different at times their coping mechanisms end up hurting others.
This story had a lot of push and pull which I expect with characters that have tragic pasts but at points you have to suspend normal thinking in order to understand or accept how the characters acted. First off Evan hasn’t seen his sister is fifteen years because of what happened when they were teens and I gotta say, I’m not sure I really liked her. I know she had damage from their childhood too but she doesn’t seem to really care about hoe Evan feels about things just what she thinks should be happening and I felt she was selfish in many of her actions just assuming and not actually talking about what she wanted.
I hated that Mal was ready to allow himself to be hurt just to keep Evan in his life. Now, I liked Evan and understood he is still hurting and needs certain things to cope with what happened to him but his running from basically everything wasn’t the answer and he doesn’t seem to get that. And while Mal is still working though how his parents’ treated him he is more willing to try. I don’t know but the ending gives a HFN vibe but doesn’t make me feel confident in their actual relationship.
Cover art by LC Chase is nice and you can see some of Evan’s troubles on his face.
ebook, 215 pages
Published: August 5, 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Edition Language: English