After filing charges that put his abusive ex-Dom behind bars, Jesse Turbul relocates halfway across the country, hoping to escape his past—but, of course, it's never that easy. When Jesse meets third-year law student Aadon at the library where he works, their mutual attraction is instant and obvious.
Despite the sparks, they just can't seem to make it work. Aadon is mired in guilt over his inability to help his older brother, damaged by events far too similar to Jesse’s past. Jesse is stuck in his own desperate wish to forget the painful shadow that continues to threaten him and any hope of a happy future.
The only way to move forward is for Jesse to acknowledge he’s broken and for Aadon to accept he can’t make him better.
This was a very touching and dramatic story! I liked how the author showed Jesse and Aadon initial attraction, but didn't push that aspect of their relationship early on. Both heroes have serious issues such as family drug abuse and being a victim of physical abuse. Now, I have never been in a position similar to what Aadon or Jesse is dealing with, but I felt like the recovery process was very realistic. I liked how these issues weren't sugarcoated or that they magically disappeared with the power of true love. These are serious obstacles that require time and patience to overcome.
Besides the dramatic aspects, this was also a sweet romance between two damaged people. Aadon and Jesse really cared for each other and showed it in a multitude of ways. Some of the side characters like Jesse's best friend got a little annoying in their protective instincts, but I can see where the author was going with their characterization. I also really liked the storyline of Aadon's brother and his parallel to Jesse's situation.
Overall, a wonderfully written story that made me cry and smile! I definitely look forward to reading more of Jaime Samm's work in the future.
Side Note: Even though the book description mentions BDSM, I should explain that this is not a major plot point. There are some hints at this lifestyle, but never any graphic scenes with it.
****I received this book from Netgalley and Dreamspinner Press.****