Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.
Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?
As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?
(Book Reviewed Here Previously)
Both Darwin and Cody come from small towns in the mid-west and have come to Denver looking for a life “bigger” than what they’ve known. Darwin feels his life is nearly complete, he just needs someone to share it with. Cody is far from comfortable, he’s happy but expecting danger and disappointment around every corner.
When Cody and Darwin meet, Cody can’t believe Darwin would be interested in someone like him (this theme dominates most of their relationship in the story) and it takes them many dates to move forward from “hookup” to something more serious. I loved that Darwin is persistent – it’d be easy to be put off by Cody’s constant low self-esteem issues, but Darwin not only sees someone in need of help, but a compatriot with similar background issues as well as someone – inside- who he can see has a lot of potential.
There are times in this story that we get some very “real” moments: the two exploring sex together (there are awkward moments and fits and starts), some really tough times when Cody’s family responds to something they’ve seen on FaceBook, awkward dates, and more. What we end up with is a lovely mélange of funny, sweet, tender, heart-warming, emotional, sad and touching. It ends on a very happy upswing, probably more HFN than HEA, but with decided leanings toward forever.
Cody, luckily, upon finding himself in Denver, found a new family in his co-workers at Hamburger Mary’s. They end up being very important to him, now and by the end of the story. I loved that the author shows us how family is more than who you were born with and that, sometimes, the family you choose, is the more important family in your life.
I highly recommend this book to fans of the author, sweet and funny romances, as well as fans of “coming of age” romances.
4.5 of 5 stars
Dominic Carlos is a new narrator to me and I have to admit I wasn’t that impressed. He did a fine job but there are SO MANY ways this could have been exceptional. Brandon gave us so many great characters that could have had wonderful voices with hysterical personas but that wasn’t really demonstrated here.
The narration is solid, but not amazing. A fair way to experience this but not as much as it could have been.
3 of 5 stars
Overall 3.75 (rounded to 4) of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review