Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.
It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued Art Deco building on the WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the artistic, sweet man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.
When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.
What can you say about a book that opens up on the darkest moment of a man’s life, that point where he see’s no hope, no light and then carries you and him on a journey that see’s him safe, in love and with a future that burns as bright as the sun? You say that you love it and cherish the man and couple you have been reading about. That’s what you say.
Jake Moore is that man. His life is one long night of pain, bloody beatings and unmeasurable sorrow. And it hasn’t ended by any means. The person most responsible is still barely alive, punishing Jake even from his dying bed. The hell that this vicious man has made Jake’s life is brought vividly alive through Jake’s confused thoughts and memories of his past, his mother, conversations…his anguish bleeds off the page and into your heart. He’s a welder by trade, also an artist which is where he pounds out his anger and confusion that he feels over his life and sexuality, welding pieces from the bits left over in the shop and things that he finds to bring home.
Then Dallas Yates and his best friend (and all around wonder) Celeste come into Jake’s life via the renovation of a Art Deco building across the street. Between the two of them, Dallas who makes Jake yearn for everything he’s been told was evil and Celeste, flamboyant, feminine and proud of who she is (and how far she’s come), makes Jake think past other boundaries he’s always been provided with. It’s never downplayed how broken Jake is or that he needs professional help to recover, an important element I really loved here. The relationship build is slow as Celeste questions Dallas on his ability to and his reasons for being attracted to Jake (there is a past element here for Dallas). Layers upon layers here, like the detritus that has to be removed from the Art Deco building before she can shine, have to be peeled back before Dallas and Jake can be a couple and have a future.
I almost gave this 4.75 stars over things as small as not seeing the opening of Bombshell, and other such things that really are extraneous. Would I have loved them here? Absolutely. But were they necessary to the plot? I don’t think so (although I do think they are in some cut pages somewhere on Rhys Ford’s computer). I got the men, I got their love and their journey and that was deeply moving and so memorable. I loved them so, and all..well, most of the secondary characters too. From Celeste to the Yates family.
Want a story full of hope? Want a story full of recovery, love and a journey towards a brighter future for a man who thought a future was something he didn’t deserve? There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford is the story for you. But let Rhys Ford put it better. From Rhys Ford’s Foreword on There’s This Guy:
This book is for anyone who has stared into the abyss and wondered if they can or should go on.
Take that next step forward and go on.
And should you need help finding the strength for that step, reach out. There are people and places who will help you.
Keep walking until you find the sun on your face and until you can see the stars again.
You are worth that step. Worth that journey.
The world is a better place with you in it.
OK, I’m about to start crying all over again. Probably will pick up the story and start reading it again as well. Get the idea? Yes, I highly recommend it. How I love this author!
Cover art is ok, but honestly I don’t know what I wanted for such a complex story and character. Color me confused.
ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2017 by Dreamspinner Presss
ISBN 1635334993 (ISBN13: 9781635334999)