*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*
Ezra Greene has made a pretty decent life for himself. He has a nice apartment and spends his days doing the one thing he’s always loved—creating art. Despite being somewhat of a grumpy recluse, he’s even made a few loyal friends. When he takes a side job painting a mural at a local holistic center, he can’t help being curious about a certain friendly and self-assured yoga instructor, even if he doesn’t buy into any of that Zen crap. His holier-than-thou family already tried fitting him inside a box, and he swore he’d never be molded into anybody’s belief system again.
For Daevonte Randall, adulthood has worked out pretty well. He’s close to his parents and lives with an awesome roommate. He’s content with weekend hookups, teaching yoga, and taking college courses. What he doesn’t expect is to be so intrigued by the brooding and reserved painter he’s been tasked to stay after hours with at the center. Something fascinates him about Ezra, even after Daevonte’s attempts at flirting gets him friend-zoned on the spot.
As weeks pass, Ezra and Dae get to know each other, and soon their friendship catches fire. But Ezra’s been burned pretty badly before so trust and intimacy has to be earned. Daevonte feels up to the task, but it proves difficult as Ezra continues to keep his emotions in check. Dae’s only willing to wait so long, and when they’re dealt a surprising blow, Ezra needs to decide if love is worth the risk, that is…if it’s not too late.
Ezra is a complex character like the other heroes of the two other books in the series but on the other side different. Ezra is putting walls up because he was hurt in the past, also his demisexuality let him be only sexually attracted towards somebody who he really feel connected with and who he trusts. Because of his burn in the past, he isn’t easily willing to give away the trust again.
I felt with Ezra and it was good to see how Daevonte did everything to help Ezra to go out of his “shell” – first, as a friend, later because he is also feeling something deeper for him. Of course, as a different character – open, interested in short hook-ups than solid relationships – he is the total opposite to Ezra. He is the “spiritual” guy, the one who’s doing yoga, is surrounded by the smell of incense (something Ezra isn’t first very fond of) and other herbal candles and stuff. Things Ezra believes are utterly crap – at least before he gets more in contact with Dae and get to know these things.
Ezra is starting to get well balanced through Dae over the whole book. It’s Dae who helps Ezra to overcome his broken trust and the way how Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn present it is truly magical and really sensitive.
I really liked how much room Dae gave Ezra after he knows about his sexuality, but the truth is: neither Ezra nor Dae can stop their magnetic energy which is building. The sensual attraction, the deeper feelings.
This book felt different than the other books, it has also interesting – and sometimes heavy – topics, like being raised in a religious family, with the constant fear of being honest about what you are. Also on Dae’s side the trouble of having young parents and being raised up in a mixed racial family (although this part isn’t the most heavy, it is actually really comforting to read about Dae’s parents).
Another topic is – of course – Ezra’s demisexuality which goes along with his relationship to his parents and which forms him heavily.
I won’t tell too much, this is a book you should read when you are interested in all those listed topics, if you want an artistic hero, one who really paints awesome – at least the descriptions makes it real for the reader 😉 – and therefore you shouldn’t miss it.
Nyrae Dawn and Christina Lee did again create a book I really adored and loved. With Ezra and Daevonte they gave the reader two interesting character, different than Gabriel and Lucas from Touch the Sky and Jamie and Conner from Chase the Sun. They all together are a great group of guys, and though they have appearances, this book can be read as a stand-alone.
It was hot, sensitive, really good balanced between the heavy parts and the lighter ones and again written with so much love and passion. You can feel both author really loved their character.
Definitely 5 out of 5 stars.
Take also a look of my yesterday’s release blitz entry for an excerpt, awesome teaser picture and information about the author. 🙂