This is such an awesome read. 4.5 stars! And it intrigued me from the very start.
Synopsis: This is the story of Daphne Shipley and Rickie – Dylan Shipley’s roommate/landlord. And there’s so much happening here. Rickie has suffered a mysterious injury leaving him with partial amnesia. Daphne has a psycho ex that’s threatening her and has forced her to relocate to another university. So, naturally, Daphne’s hesitant to trust again and Rickie has issues for miles because of his amnesia. Their growing affection and Rickie’s persistence is just super sweet reading.
I must admit, I was really impatient for them to solve their respective “problems” (a.k.a. getting revenge and recovering memories), but for the majority of the story, the focus was on Daphne’s and Rickie’s budding relationship. Meaning I got a bit frustrated about halfway through.
But I adore the Shipleys, and Daphne and Rickie are both sweet and sizzling together.
I especially adored Rickie. It’s so refreshing with the male MC in a “regular” F+M romance to be pan. And Bowen truly nailed it with creating such a wonderful, complex personality. Secure in his sexuality, empathic and perceptive, and masculine AF – eyeliner, silk robe and all. Loved it.
But. After that initial frustration, I got all the drama I craved. I love seeing bad guys get what’s coming to them – especially the entitled ones. Unfortunately, that would have been to fairytale-ish to actually happen. But at least the truth came out to the ones that mattered and the HEA couldn’t have been more satisfying.
There are some heavy topics in this story. And obvious triggers for some; Short descriptions of an assault, references to a rape, and the subsequent trauma of such events. But Bowen handled those topics in the same understated and compassionate way she always does heavy stuff. Which is one of the things I adore about her writing. She doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects, but she doesn’t revel in them and she’s never unnecessarily detailed just for the easy shock factor.
I think this is probably one of my favourite True North books. Will definitely read again. Only reason I won’t rate it a 5-star is because I’m in such an M+M phase now it’s not even funny. But that’s all on me, and has nothing to do with the writing or the story. Bowen is as awesome as always.
I do need some follow-up stories though. Like, I need them bad.
Like Rickie’s ex bunk mate. I need him to get his HEA. And why not with Alec’s long-lost, broody brother who shows up in the very end? Or maybe that’s just my M+M craving that’s talking…
* A free copy of this book was kindly provided by the author *