Reviewed by Amanda Castro on Goodreads
Oh God, I loved this book so much! James is a wonderful MC and just the type I love to read (and write) about. A broken boy with a dark past dealing with deep trauma and trying to find a way to heal, even though it feels impossible to him. The first chapters showing James’ mind and how broken he and his family are when they arrive in South Italy for vacation are brilliant, and every insight into this boy’s mind hurts. The mental health bit was dealt with great care here, which I liked very much.
Rob, on the other hand, is one I have mixed feelings about. Although I can understand his background and the confusion he was going through with his attraction to James and his loyalty for his boyfriend, some moves he pulled towards James bothered me a bit. But I loved how he grows through the story and how the author puts Francesco’s character to call him out, stating clearly that messing with the boy’s head to no avail is not cool at all. Btw, Fra is my fave character after James, and I can’t wait for the sequel showing his story!
James and Rob’s chemistry is palpable and so enticing. Every scene where they’re together is on fire and when they bond and show their soft side and hidden layers, I swear I see stars! I’d also like to highlight the setting. Since the author is Italian, the cultural aspects of South Italy, as well as the North/South banter are on point and made me immerse in that scenery.
The only thing I didn’t like so much was the pacing of Act 3. Although we can get where all James’ insecurity is coming from, the drama around their imminent separation felt a bit dragged and not as emotionally deep as previous chapters, which felt like a drop in tension for a segment that should be the climax. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, at all. I still swooned like crazy about the last pages.
If you like mlm romance in an idyllic setting with a mental health approach, this book is definitely for you.