5 stars Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Exploration Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Virgin

Anthony (A survivor story) by JP Barnaby

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents




Aaron Downing worshiped his mother. She saved his life. She did everything for him. But Anthony Downing has a different perspective. He sees the woman who tossed him into a basement for eight long years and forgot he existed. When Anthony decides he’s done being invisible, he packs up and heads for Detroit to stay with his Internet friend Jay, but fate intervenes.

Brendan Mears lost everything the day the man with a gun came into his father’s store. Now, he’s tethered to a business he can’t manage and a brother who resents him.

Different in all the ways that matter, Anthony and Brendan struggle to overcome their psychological obstacles, until a crushing betrayal sends them running for cover and each other.


Though this can be a standalone, I don’t recommend it. It’s best read as part of the series or at least after Aaron.

Anthony is Aaron Downing’s youngest brother. Aaron was a victim of a kidnapping and it left his family a wreck. Since the kidnapping, Anthony has been relegated to the basement of the family both literally and figuratively. Now, he’s 18 and he’s had enough.

When the straight best friend he’s crushed on for years finally pushes him too far, Anthony hooks up with an online friend and runs away to Detroit. He’s almost made it when his car breaks down and he ends up being “saved” by the one family that probably understands his plight better than anyone.

Brendan was about Anthony’s age when he and his father were held up and shot at the liquor store the family owns. Now Brendan can’t leave his apartment for the crippling anxiety the thought provokes. His older brother Patrick is left to keep the store running and do what he can to help Brendan.


Wow. This story did not go how I thought it would.

On the one hand, it’s actually a bit darker than Aaron’s story – in the sense that we are left with a HFN and not the hard earned HEA of Aaron and Spencer’s story. ON the other hand, it’s not as horrific in terms of what happens to Anthony – specifically – but still so painful to read.

There’s also another couple twists in this that threw me for a loop – and had me kissing my own daughter – reminding myself that she’s safe.

If you were a fan of Aaron/Spencer, you’ll want to read this. If you haven’t read any of the series, but like dark, angsty reads with dark, angsty heroes – this is the book for you.

What I need now is to find out what happens to the brother – not saying which!

Highly Recommended

(LOVE the Mackey reference – GOD – I love when characters become family members, don’t you?!   )

5 of 5 stars


Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.