Adam Stephens’s simple life working in Denver as a computer programmer is turned upside down when his mother suddenly dies. His crazy relatives in Virginia want him to move in with them because they believe his autism makes it impossible for him to care for himself. But life improves, at least for a time. One day while wandering through the botanical gardens, he runs into struggling wildlife photographer Trent Osborn.
As a hesitant love blossoms between the two, Adam’s aunt and uncle push for him to live with them. Adam again refuses. The struggles between his desires and what everyone else wants collide. Adam disappears, and Trent is unsure if he’s run off to escape life’s pressures made worse by his autism, or if something far more sinister has happened. Trent embarks on a cross-country journey in search of Adam. What he discovers changes the course of his and Adam’s lives and the lives of everyone connected to them.
Adam is autistic, but highly functioning. He works as a computer programmer in Colorado with his mother until she suddenly dies. Suddenly, he’s adrift, and unsure how to move forward – alone. While wandering around the Botanic gardens – a favorite place of his mother’s – he meets Trent – a photographer.
Trent sees something in Adam he’s been missing since the death of his lover years ago – a friend, companion and maybe something more.
Adam and Trent become friends, Trent offering Adam an anchor in a storm as well as a port of refuge from Adam’s uncle and aunt who’ve come to “help” Adam after the funeral.
When Adam and Trent’s relationship turns into a romantic one, his homophobic aunt and uncle flip out and kidnap Adam back to Virginia for conversion therapy. It’s up to Trent to rescue Adam and to help him fight back.
There was so much in this story I wanted to love but I just couldn’t get there. The language was stilted and awkward – and not just when used to illustrate Adam’s thought processes.
The drama felt a bit bizarre and surreal and took me from the pacing of a gentle hurt/comfort love story to a somewhat forced-to-be-angsty drama.
I definitely cared for both MCs but never quite understood Trent and felt that a bit more time spent in his head as he wrapped his mind around getting involved with the somewhat child-like Adam was called for. It felt a bit uncomfortable how easily he moved from friend to lover without more prep or discussion on either of their parts.
The uncle was a bit too “villainy” to be real, as was the aunt.
I was happy the guys got their HEA but it didn’t feel settled and instead felt more like a HFN.
All in all I wasn’t that excited about it, despite the intriguing possibilities and though it might be interesting – especially if you have an interest in Colorado or autism – it wasn’t done as well as it could have been.
2.5 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review