Twenty-one-year-old Mason has to get out of his mother’s house, where her boyfriend subjects him to unwanted advances—and won’t take no for an answer. Since she didn’t believe Mason when he told her about his uncle’s sexual abuse, Mason knows he’s on his own, and it’s up to him to raise the money he needs. He thinks he’s in luck when he takes a modeling job.
Oliver is a photographer, and getting guys and sex has always been easy for him. His current open relationship is no exception: more friendship and fun than anything. But when Oliver meets Mason, he can see the younger man is fragile and desperately in need of help. Before anything can develop between them, Mason needs to free himself of his terrible living situation and start on the road to healing. Oliver wants to stand beside him as he does. What surprises him is the discovery that he might need Mason as much as Mason needs him.
This is the first book I’ve read by Caitlin Ricci, and I found it nicely paced and thoughtful when dealing with the sensitive issues in the story. Mason comes across as being younger than stated in the story, but his issues are very real.
Oliver is well put together, knows what he has wanted up until this point in his life. Sex has always been a casual thing, whether it’s with his boyfriend, or some of his photography models. He seems just as surprised as Mason when they realize the attraction between them could develop into something more.
This is a slow paced story, yet there isn’t a lot of angst. It also ends in a HFN, not a HEA. The author has developed the characters enough that you want to see an epilogue of a year or 2 down the line to see how it all works out. Since this book is part of a series I would guess we will see more of Mason and Oliver in future books.