And this was what it meant to be one. One heartbeat, one body,
one creature loving and feeling and never wanting to break apart.
If you ever wondered whether an audio version can make a book even better...then look no further than this one. Michael Ferraiuolo is absolutely perfect for this story. I completely saw these beautiful boys with each expression as he breathed life into these wonderful characters.
I had more personal issues with this story during my first read which were unfair. I have deleted those comments from my original review. While I wish a few things had been different, I focused solely on the love of these two characters this go around and it made all the difference. Just a beautiful story.
A must read...A must must listen!
***From page one, I felt for them and I wanted their beautiful happily ever after. And while yes, it comes, it is a difficult and heartbreaking journey but one I fully enjoyed from start to finish. I wish honestly that we could have had more hot moments there at the end with them and honestly would have enjoyed reading some of the letters that were written between them over the course of their time apart. I do love a good love letter.
Original review (with slight modifications) from February 2015:
This is an absolutely breathtaking story of love found in the most unlikely of places. Two broken men taking comfort in the arms of the other.
The writing was magical and ultimately brought me fully into the love these two shared with each other.
With his arms around Hunter’s waist, Riley laid his head on his shoulder, nose in the crook of Hunter’s neck. Every breath he took sent warm air gusting along Hunter’s skin, raising the fine hairs at his nape, sending chills down his arms. Hunter embraced Riley’s shoulders and closed his eyes, pressing his mouth to Riley’s temple. He planted a soft kiss, let his lips linger, and he gave in to the beauty of soaring through the night with the man he loved in his arms.
BR with my dear, Momo
Status Updates (Read #1):
Every time they’d fought and turned their anger on him, he would curl into a ball in the deepest, darkest corner of the house. The walls and the shadows kept him safe. John never found him. John’s leather belt never broke his skin.
He'd always thought it ironic and a bit offensive for that classic to be one of the few books they had in this place.
The brief flick of a glance, a perfect tongue dancing on sweet, pillowy lips—hope and faith disguised in a compact, mistreated body.
Riley Connors. Even the guy’s name was cute.
And that was the last thought Hunter needed to have. Yeah, this hell pit was the best place for developing crushes. That’d be a story for the proverbial grandkids. So Gramps and Grampa met in the nuthouse….
SILENCE HAD a way of maddening strong minds, and in a place like Hartfield—where crazy came in abundance—silence had a way of wreaking havoc. It led to thinking, and thinking led to remembering. Remembering led to fearing, and….
Oh Gaaahhh....this is sooo true. Only add the darkness of the night. :(
Hunter ached for Riley. The pain emanating from him was palpable. The emotion of loss that resided deep in Hunter’s heart started knocking on the door he struggled hard to keep closed.
Riley snorted and shoved Hunter gently.
“Okay, Hunter and Riley! If you’re going to keep being disruptive just go back to your room!”
Riley turned to Hunter and held up a hand for a high five, which Hunter obliged, confused. “What are we high-fiving?”
“That took less time than usual. Usually have to sit through half the group hour before I get told to go to my room. It took us fifteen minutes. We’re a good team.”
Hunter laughed at that, loud.
God...give me two fucking adorable guys with a side of crazy and I am a happy woman.
He kissed Riley’s cheek and kept swaying with him. The music was just close enough to hear, but they were far enough from everyone that only the occasional person could see them. This was their special place, a piece of sidewalk in their corner of the world where just the two of them existed, and they were ending a great night.
Riley stared. Hunter stared. Hell, half the beans in the can were staring. Commotion always got attention. Even the Froot Loops with half a brain got excited when a troublemaker rolled through the doors. However, Riley believed none of them had seen any that looked as good as Sunshine.
"Sunshine" from Remember the Titans
"Why want me when my own mother didn't want me?"
Yep...that did it.
"I wish you'd help yourself too."
"...We all got a journey, some harder than others. You just got to do what you got to do and be happy, okay?"
He was beautiful. He knew Riley would kill him if he said the word out loud, but from his baby-smooth tummy to his vibrantly colored yet spooky, traditional old-school-style sleeve tattoo, the man was sin and salvation in one perfectly made, if a little damaged, package.
Where the fuck was his happily ever after?
Morgan...uuuuhhhh...how much longer until...angst is consuming my belly...me no likey that.
Status Updates (Read #2):
Another day of paperwork...so yes...I'm doing the audio!! :D
His voice for Riley just makes me melt. What a sweetheart. <3
Every time Hunter shivered, Riley saw it and wanted to warm him. Every time he whimpered, Riley wanted to hold him. It was strange and unsettling, being in the role of nurturer, because Riley had never been that guy before. Now, with Hunter, he thought he could.
Hunter laughed, then without thinking, placed a hand to Riley’s face. Riley’s smile dimmed. Hunter couldn’t control it, couldn’t stop himself. He knew it was probably crazy—yes, crazy—but he had to kiss the guy. He quickly pressed his lips to Riley’s. He always wondered what someone meant when they said they tried to convey an emotion with a kiss, but now he got it. He was trying to beg and apologize and offer comfort with his lips. He really hoped he wasn’t fucking up.
"You’re jealous because I talked to another person? I know you don’t know me that well, but I figured you knew me better than thinking I was throwing you over for the newer model. After last night?”
“That’s how it looked to me,” Riley said, tightening his arms around his folded legs. “I mean, who could blame you, right? Why want me when someone happier, less fucked-up comes into the picture? Why want me when my own mother didn’t want me?”
He turned in Hunter’s arms and curled himself around Hunter as if his only friend in the world could hold the weight of his body and anchor his heart. He held on to Hunter as if he could keep Hunter right there, right in that moment forever and never lose him.
“Nobody wanted me.”