Isaac was an extremely engaging character, and listening to him tell the story kept me hooked from the beginning until the end. This was the first book I’ve read about a gay Amish couple. Although there were enough details to give me a better idea of how they lived on a daily basis, I didn’t think it overwhelmed the story. Instead, it helped to give a real sense of the challenge for Isaac and David to have a relationship. Needless to say, there was a lot of angst in this story leading to quite a few tears on my part. Although there was a definite happy ending for the couple, there were enough open issues to make me excited about reading the next story in their saga.
With its addictive, emotional writing-style, this story about one man falling in love while living with mental illness was almost too realistic, but well worth the read.
Ash Winters is an intelligent author who is also bipolar and suffers from panic attacks and depression. For anybody who has ever lived with somebody suffering from any of these disorders, you’re already aware of how challenging life can be for that person. However, listening to somebody share detailed experiences as they move through their emotional battles is both painful and enlightening. At times it felt as if you were living through the nightmare of his panic attacks and full blown depressive bouts. The entire story is told from Ash’s point of view, and as he walks us through his challenging life, he also shares some of his joys. However, until he meets Darian, he really doesn’t know what happiness means.
Darian Taylor was truly one of the sweetest and most accepting people. He was able to look to the true heart and soul of a person, and look past their many faults. He had such a simple approach to life and love. It did take me a bit of time to get used to his very heavy accent and speech patterns. There was quite a bit of interesting dialog between Ash and the other characters. The romance with Darian was believable with plenty of conversations and interactions. The sex was both steamy and enjoyable. Ash was a bit of a jerk throughout the story, and although he always explained his poor behavior, it was challenging at times to understand why Darian would care for him. However, Darian rarely let Ash’s negative attitude affect him. It certainly wasn’t an easy path to get there, but Ash and Darian get their well-deserved happily ever after. There were also several other interesting characters including his agent, Amy, and his friend, Niall. I would love to see a second story with Niall, especially to get another glimpse of how Ash and Darian are doing.
This was a truly intriguing story with rich character development and a huge emotional pull that I’m very glad I read.
A free and brilliant epilogue, Glitterland Aftermath, is available from Riptide Publishing.
Emotionally heart wrenching, with a troubling look at the past treatment of people with mental illness, this thought-provoking story will stay with me for a very long time.
William Lyon has fought accepting his homosexuality his entire life. His deeply religious parents, who believed it to be wrong and unacceptable, went so far as to send him to conversion therapy. In trying to do what he thought was the right thing, he married a nice enough woman. Unfortunately, after 6 years of marriage, he finally accepted that he is gay and got divorced.
In order to work on his dissertation on memory, and due to his lack of a place to live, he takes a job as a caretaker at a mental institution. While working there, he discovers a tin box filled with letters from one of the patients. What unfolds is a devastating story of one man’s love for another man, and the despicable treatment he received by those trying to “cure” him. William reads each letter over a period of several months. During that time, his life is slowly mirroring many of the same concepts from the letters.
William, a very subdued but extremely kind person, meets Colby Anderson, one of the most jubilant people he has ever met. Colby is an amazing, sweet, and fun person. In addition to taking care of his grandparents, he also helps run their store. William and Colby form a wonderful friendship, and then start to become something more. I loved William and Colby and all of their interactions. These two were meant for each other and fit together perfectly.
There were some steamy scenes, but most of it was pretty mild. The epilogue at the end was truly beautiful and believable. In addition to the box of tissues I went through every single time William read a letter, I had to find a few extras for the happy tears at the end.
A truly memorable love story which also reflects on a history that I hope never repeats itself.
My heart was breaking for Jude who was suffering from severe OCD. At the same time, I was so touched by Devin’s actions to help Jude. This story triggered both sad and happy tears.
Link to free download.
This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s “Love’s Landscapes” event at Goodreads. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.