5 « so perfect for each other” stars
“You came back to hear my story?” “Yes.” “Why?” “Because…what the hell is it all for? You told the shit part. What about the rest? What’s on the other side of the misery?”
Third attempt at writing a coherent review that does not cover more than ten pages (kidding but barely) nor is overflowing with all the quotes highlighted that made my kindle look like a brightly decorated Christmas tree …. This is my eternal problem when writing a review for Emma’s books!
This story was headed to 4,5 stars until I reached the 80 percent mark… when hell broke loose and hearts were torn open.
The stand Silas had to make simply undid him. It melted the last layer of ice that kept him away from my soul. It’s when hearts are shattered and spirits damaged that Emma does her best job and steal the last remnant of MY heart. In these moments of truth, where the soul is bare, when the heroes have to really choose to live, not merely survive a bond is forged forever between them and me.
That scene, that moment sealed the deal for me an pushed this story from the “I really like it” to the “I am in love with it”.
This is a MM romance story. The romance part being very important as love is universal and we love a person, not a gender.
But this is MORE.
In her author’s note (which is one of the bests I have read) Emma Scott writes: “Max’s story has real-world reflections as well, as homelessness among LGBTQ youth are higher than the national average by a margin of 120%, and LGBTQ youth are reported to have attempted suicide at a rate five times higher than their straight peers.”
This story emphasizes the difficulties homosexuals face at being accepted for who they really are.
This means acceptance by your family as Max has been kicked out of his home when his parents found him with a guy in his room. On the street at sixteen, he tried to survive but soon fell into drug’s hell. Or what Silas father did to him as he wanted a strong son, a perfect son. If Max had been thrown out of his home Silas experienced something …unfathomable. I don’t want to give away any spoilers here but what’s been done to him is horrifying, unacceptable, barbaric …I could go on and on.
It morphed him into a man of ice. No outer feelings, no sexual drive, just a perfect handsome and polished robot. Silas did not know who he was anymore.
Max’s appeal, his warmth, his kindness, the journey he’s been through to live his life in truth progressively thawed the layers of ice isolating Silas from his humanity, from his true self.
And there is EVEN MORE.
Because Emma’s stories are usually like Russian dolls: layer upon layer of stories and topics.
Back to Emma’s note: “In this book, I have also tried to address, in a microcosmic way, the opioid crises that has ravaged this country for the last twenty years. There is no way to encompass the entire tragedy, so I attempted to boil it down to some of its most basic (yet still horrific) parts in order to bring awareness to a crisis I myself had been ignorant of. The treatment for those addicted to opioids is woefully inadequate and the stigma of an addicted person being seen as a criminal comes from a lack of awareness as to how the drug alters brain chemistry.”
And when I read that story and that note, I thought that stories like this do more for LGBTQ and drug addicts than any medical journal or TV news. Because Emma, speaks to our hearts and opens our eyes and minds.
This story opened on a turning point in Max’s life when on the street, when he had to make a choice and I really appreciate that Emma showed us this desperate and ugly reality but without displaying obscene details. My heart would not have survived the abuse.
Saved by a retired cop, he stopped all drugs and helped other addicts or ex addicts to resist the siren’s call. His salvation shows how some “random acts of kindness” can alter the course of a life, another topic dear to Emma’s heart.
I adored Max right on the spot. I had a little “taste” in Forever Right Now.
Max wears his heart on his sleeve and his mood on his face. Going through Hell, he made a promise to never lie to himself again, to never let others make him feel like he is not enough, not normal, not worthy. Max chose to be open to others. Even after he’s been rejected by his own family he chose to care, to show empathy like what he did with Eddie, Silas ‘s brother who is an Asperger. But he also learned that he deserves respect. That he is worth it.
“When I got clean, I made a No Bullshit policy. I don’t dish it out and I don’t take it from anyone.”
He is also determined not to settle for someone who does not respect and really see him. Max is a romantic! You can see it when he meets Silas at his father’s estate.
“Silas Marsh walked straight into that room like the answer to a question I hadn’t known I’d been asking. A strange thought had battered itself around my heart: There he is.”
For all Silas’s hotness, it took me a long time to really connect with him. Silas was closed off. And even if I knew what happened to him and knew how conflicted he was the distance he maintained with people also kept me at bay. Silas simply suffered from PTSD and did not know who he was anymore. But once Silas let his feelings free, once I witnessed his interaction with Eddie, once I saw how he cared what damage his father’s company did, I finally fell for him. Not in a “Man, that guy is hot” but in a “Damn but that guy is ethic, generous, gorgeous and just cares so much!”.
This romance story is epic and I would love to conclude with one of my favorite quote, coming from one of the best heroines I have read about and that I would marry if I was lesbian and she was not a fictional character: Darlene from “Forever Right Now” : “Fling away, Max! Darlene whispered in my mind. Grab happy and run like hell.”
And that’s me telling you to “Read away. Grab happy and read like hell.”
Are you a fan of Emma Scott? Do you read LGBTQ stories?
Thanks for reading!