The year is 1987. The boys wear pink Izod shirts, the girls wear big hair, everyone has a stash box, and AIDS is just an ugly rumor rumbling like a thunderstorm from the cities. A teenage runaway wanders the side of the road, a heartbeat away from despair, and is rescued by a long-haired angel on a Harley. But that’s just the beginning of their story. Josiah Daniels wanted peace and quiet and a simple life, and he had it until he rescued Casey from hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Suddenly Joe’s life is anything but simple as he and his new charge navigate a world that is changing more rapidly than the people in it. Joe wants to raise Casey to a happy and productive adulthood, and he does. But even as an adult, Casey can’t conceive of a happy life without Joe. The trouble is getting Joe to accept that the boy he nurtured is suddenly the man who wants him. Their relationship can either die or change with the world around them. As they make a home, negotiate the new rules of growing up, and swerve around the pitfalls of modern life, Casey learns that adulthood is more than sex, Joe learns that there is no compromise in happy ever after, and they’re both forced to realize that the one thing a man shouldn’t be is alone.
I really enjoyed this, and I do think that the audio version contributed to that greatly. Wonderful pacing, and good inflection for emotion without it sounding campy or over-acted. Both men had distinct voiced without sounding like caricatures.
I really liked the format of this story. The first chapter and the epilogue take place in 2011 (current day as far as we are concerned) but otherwise it takes place over the course of about a decade, starting when they meet in 1987 and spanning into the late 90’s as we follow their journey. It totally worked.
As much as I love reading May-December romances where one of them is really young and they just can’t restrain themselves… that’s a book and we all know we’d be uncomfortable with it IRL. I liked that Joe completely shut Casey down and was not at all attracted to the abused 15 year old boy that he saved. He knew what Casey needed, and an older lover it was not.
But I also loved that Casey knew what he wanted and wouldn’t give up, and refused to let Joe keep seeing him as a child once he was a grown man. I loved these guys together, and even though the sex was hot, it wasn’t stand out for me because the story was really about watching their lives and how they intertwined.
The bit with Joe’s family was nice to make it a well-rounded story. It allowed us to see the guys outside their element and interacting with other people. There were sad bits that I got me a little teary-eyed, but I didn’t find it uber angsty the way some did. Maybe that’s a product of the audio version and popping in and out more frequently, but I definitely had stints where I sat on my couch listening because I wasn’t ready to put the book away yet.
As with most Amy Lane books, I would recommend this one. The length was perfect, the pacing worked well, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.