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Josh’s idea of a romance is curling up alone and reading a novel with a happily ever after. He’s made his flat a safe haven where the wall are covered with beautiful words, and his living room ceiling is a map of the universe.
Angus may be shy and inexperienced, but he’s incapable of hiding anything, especially his attraction to his older neighbor.
When Josh admits to Angus that he’s gay, he doesn’t expect Angus’s reaction. Angus’s obvious interest terrifies Josh. For years he’s managed to keep the world at arm’s length and avoid getting too close to anyone. Well, anyone except Elenor, Angus’s mother, who helped Josh rebuild his life after he was hospitalized for depression. But Josh still thinks he’s broken. His past has left scars he thinks are too deep to heal. Despite Josh’s defenses, Angus begins to mean more to him than just the cute boy next door. If Josh can take a risk and let someone into his isolated world, he might have a chance for a real life happy ending.
Move along folks, nothing to see here.
*whispers* Kidding, I’m just kidding. But…..
Have you ever felt like that after reading a book? I want to hoard the greatness. I want to shield it from would-be-haters, I want to keep it safe. With me, it’s safe. I will love it, protect it, and cherish it.
Completely irrational thoughts, I know. Too bad my brain doesn’t always function on the rational setting.
I can tell you right now, not everyone will love this. Actually, I can guarantee that some readers won’t even like it. But then with my next breath I can promise you, promise you some of you will hopelessly fall in love with it. I did. I fell….quite unexpectedly too. Fitting title aye? If your initial thought is that it’s simply a typical romance, about “falling” in love, you would be mistaken. You see, at first I thought I was one of those ‘not feeling this. Nope, something is not working for me here‘ readers. Man was I wrong.
I suppose I just didn’t realize what I was getting myself into. It’s a sneaker. Creeps up when you when you’re not paying attention. Once I was caught, there was no letting go.
If you are looking for a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am-er-sir, keep moving. You will not find that here.
If you are in the mood for a sweet, happy-go-lucky read, I suggest you take a pass.
If you are searching for a complex, challenging tale of love, trust, and acceptance, this is it.
It is slow..painfully slow at times. Upon reflection, perhaps that’s part of the allure, it was for me. It was a lull of sadness, desperate wistfulness with a beautiful burst of hope. Hope that left me with a happy heart.
Besides the leisurely pace, it’s also told in first person; the star of the show, Josh, doesn’t have an easy or fun head to be in. Truth of the matter is, he’s a mental illness survivor. I wish he would see himself as a survivor. As we know mental illness has varying degrees of severity. Sometimes simple daily tasks can be debilitating. With time and extreme effort, coping skills can be mastered and the internal pressures can be managed, but they never cease to exist.
During the years that Josh rebuilt his life after his psychosis hit its peak, he bonded with his neighbor. Eleanor became his chosen family and when her own manic state of mind becomes volatile after a home invasion, Josh fears their unstable future. When he finds his attraction to her son Angus growing with each passing day, his emotions become erratic. Heavy topics are handled with utmost care with sincere voice that I deeply admire. I can clearly see why Fleet’s writing is praised.
Josh believes himself to be broken. And he can’t bear to burden his damaged goods onto a sweet boy like Angus. Categorizing him as a boy also helps to dampen his desires. The seven-year age difference seems much more significant in Josh’s mind. He considers himself to be old and used up and nowhere near good enough for Angus. Another thing he fails to take into consideration, is when you are in the eye of the storm, you cannot see the entire package. He is oblivious to anything ‘good’ when it comes to himself. However, the shattered parts of his soul and tender heart that he fiercely resents, might be exactly what Angus has been searching for. Fate has brought these two men together.They help each other stay afloat while the trials of life threaten to bring them down.
Josh has been living in isolation for so long, common social skills seem foreign to him. Words are not his strong suit. Yet with Angus he does not need them. Josh is surprised and somewhat terrified to find a secret and silent connection with him. An onslaught of emotions nearly pushes him back into the darkness.
Can he trust himself with the freedom to feel once again?
Does Angus understand how difficult it is for Josh to let himself be loved?
When does it become too much, and is no longer worth it?
If you are willing to be patient….I highly encourage you to find out.
It’s worth the fall.