Author: Megan Reddaway
Love and survival—is it too much to ask?
Leo Park is an empath on the run. He’s escaped the secret research facility where he’s been held since he was six years old, but how can he survive without being captured? He has no money, all his ideas come from old movies, and he’s carrying his baby brother, smuggled out in a carton.
Cole Millard lives by his own rules in the Oregon woods, refusing to fear the world war that’s coming closer every day. Now his freedom is threatened by a naive 19-year-old with a baby in tow and a spooky way of knowing what Cole is feeling. But Leo is vulnerable and desperate. What’s a guy to do?
Shelter Me is a dystopian gay romance novel set in a not-too-distant future, with a hot backwoodsman, a desperate fugitive, a six-month-old baby, and the world on the brink of an apocalyptic war.
Leo Park is a nineteen year old empath who has been kept in a research facility since he was six years old. Cole Millard lives by his own rules, living off the land by his cabin on family land since he considers himself anti-establishment. When Leo gets the idea to try and leave the facility with his baby brother, he does not get far before he runs into Cole in the woods, changing the direction of all their plans!
The story is told from Leo and Cole’s alternating point of view.
This story is set in a dystopian future where there is no longer a United States and Canada, but a North American Union with a president overseeing all of it. Leo’s empath abilities may have been an indirect result of an FNK exposure, which seems to be the biggest threat to mankind in this story, and it would be interesting in future stories if more of that was explained. For Leo, his ability is why he has been in a research facility since he was six, receiving a very controlled education with his only exposure to the outside world being old movies, which are chosen for him as well. However, he still thinks on his own and asks questions, but he is quite naïve.
For Cole, his parents have passed away, but he chose to keep a cabin on their land in Oregon, although other parts were sold off to other owners since his sister has a husband and children in Seattle. He is not a huge fan of all the technology that allows anyone in any kind of power to track you, his only concession being his bank account since the world is now a cashfree environment, everything must be paid for electronically.
So, you have a nineteen year old who has lived a sheltered life and a twenty five year old who has seen too much in some ways! However, because Cole is anti establishment, he is willing to grant Leo the benefit of the doubt with his story, which does lead to an interesting dynamic as Leo cannot depend entirely on his abilities to know how to interact with someone who is without an agenda towards him! I did enjoy that dynamic and how the two young men came to rely on each other and care about each other, as well as how they learned to care for Jae.
It was an enjoyable story, particularly if you like the dystopian story trope and it will be interesting to see where the series goes, if there will be more details about this new world they are in and how Leo and Cole figure into it or if new characters will be brought in. The story was more about their relationship and escape, so there are only a couple of sex scenes and they are not overly graphic. If you like this brand of fiction, you likely will enjoy this story.