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Too Close to the Flame

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Can he ever learn to trust again?

Brandon Weber’s old boyfriend almost beat him to death. Brandon survived, but still bears the emotional scars. Eighteen months later, he has withdrawn into himself, convinced he’ll never be able to trust another man.

Devin Macadam, fresh out of law school, has an exciting new job. He is also on the lookout for just the right guy, someone to take care of and love.

When Devin shows up for the first day of work at his new office, he meets Brandon, a legal assistant there. Sparks fly, but Brandon is paralyzed by fear and isn’t about to give another man the power to hurt him again. Devin, never one to give up easily, doesn’t want to take no for an answer. Both men feel the magic, but can their relationship ever get past the friend zone?

Too Close to the Flame is a dark-to-light, sweet romance featuring out and proud gay men, lots of feels, steamy love scenes, and a wonderful happy ending. The book is approximately 86,000 words and has X-Ray enabled for your reading pleasure.

Trigger Warning: Too Close to the Flame contains specific memories of physical abuse.

240 pages, Kindle Edition

Published July 31, 2020

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Ryan Taylor

13 books275 followers

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 72 reviews
Profile Image for Fabi.
1,009 reviews142 followers
August 17, 2020
There aren't too many M/M Romance novels dealing with domestic abuse. There should be. Male couples are not exempt from this insidious social disease.

Brandon is our survivor. You can use the word survivor literally here since he suffered horrendous injuries. He was abused both mentally and physically. Actually, let's just call it what it was...he was attacked and practically left for dead...by his live-in boyfriend.

I'm going to let that sink in for a minute.

It's 18 months later before he's even looking at another man. Eighteen months rehabilitating physically and mentally with ongoing weekly therapy sessions. Even looking makes him nervous.

His new co-worker, Devin, is a charmer. Good looking, big, muscular and with a contagious good nature. He sets his sights on Brandon without knowing any background. Once he finds out, he determines to be the man Brandon needs with support and gentleness and an open mind.

It's painful to watch Brandon takes steps towards trusting again. Devin isn't perfect, but he comes really close. His persistence and light approach help Brandon cross line after line. The romance is as beautiful to watch as the background is horrific to read.

A powerful story that needed telling.

When I requested the ARC I didn't realize that supporting characters had stories of their own in previous books. I did notice I was missing some background for the secondary characters. But it doesn't retract from this story. I simply like to have all the background stories before reading one where other characters are making a reappearance.

I thought the plot meandered a bit with lots of detail covering work activities, apartment descriptions, date and sight seeing particulars, etc. I believe it was written this way on purpose to show how and why Brandon and Devon were able to overcome their past to create a future together. Even though my mind wandered at times, I knew I needed the details to see Brandon becoming more comfortable with Devon.

Overall, a great story with a unique plot line.

3.5 stars for me - rounded up in consideration of the plot

Review ARC graciously provided by the publisher via IndiGo Marketing and Design
Profile Image for Denise H..
2,930 reviews209 followers
February 10, 2021
Washington, D.C.
* Brandon's way of life was ruined, and now he's gotten a chance to work at a Law firm, where he can move forward. His new apartment is secure, and offers classes, as he tries to be normal. But it's a long road to travel.
Intense and exciting, Devin, 24, dark hair and muscled,

is a handsome guy, who has come to work for his relatives, and get a chance to use his Law degree, from the ground up. He's grateful and plans to excel.
Shy Brandon, 27, blonde and blue-eyed is slim but toned.

He still has residual issues from the beating he took at the hands of his ex, who's now in jail.

Devin and Brandon are attracted to each other, but Brandon's still in therapy, and not ready to try again. Devin is patient and understanding, as he continues to try for a sign from Brandon.
Meanwhile they are working, making a family of new folks, and have a safe place to be.

The truths are told, and Devin is shattered to find out what Brandon has been through. Brandon likes Devin, and trying to rid himself of the fear that grips him at times.

We see the slow burn, and the tough times along with the new light in each man's life. The cast of characters are strong, helpful, devoted and determined. It was fun to watch them living like boyfriends, sightseeing, and then the New York trip.

I liked both of our men, with sweet Brandon and his guts to move on, plus Devin who is steady and sturdy to lean on. It seems a bit slow in the middle, but picks up right away.
Their tentative sexy times continue to grow steadily. We get a cute role-play sexy time, too. They are excelling at work and personally.

The surprise visitor near the end, shakes up their steady workplace. All lives are in danger.

Suspense, excitement, danger, and evil, all come into play.
Enjoy this deep tale.

Pay attention to the triggers: partner abuse-mental and physical, rape, brutal beating.

Profile Image for True Loveislovereview.
2,246 reviews1 follower
August 17, 2020
Brandon is deeply hurt by his ex, mentally as physically. He’ll expects himself to get old alone probably with a wrist injury, because a relationship asks for trust and that’s something Brandon lost on the way.
Devin got a job at his cousin's law firm. They grew up with each other and are still close.
When Devin meets Brandon, as his cousin's assistant, he can’t keep his eyes off him. After a few weeks, he asks Brandon for a drink.
A nice invention from Devin of course, only it will never be more than just a drink.

But two broken hearts recognize each other and pull at each other’s strings.
Very very gently Devin approachs Brandon and with a mountain of hesitation Brandon lets him.
They start a friendship and more.
We can follow them, It’s almost inevitable they’ll end up together. Besides Brandon’s trauma, the whole story is quite mellow and sweet. I expected a bit more variety, near the end it got some action, but at that moment it was, unfortunately, a bit predictable.

Both men are very kind and considerate. There was a lot of attention to Brandon’s healing process which was well done. There was less focus on Devin’s hurt, I would have loved some more development there, it was almost all about Brandon.
The story was entertaining, gentle, and engaging. Besides the main characters, we meet the family and friends, a good addition to the story. The writing style was captivating even though the story was for me a bit too stretched the way of writing kept me to the pages.
The end was very satisfying.
Profile Image for ~BookNeeds~.
667 reviews10 followers
September 8, 2020
DNF’d at 52%. It started off so strong and then it slowly started to go downhill. I just couldn’t bring myself to finish this.
Profile Image for Sarah.
486 reviews7 followers
June 27, 2022

I really wanted to love this and the prologue was certainly captivating but then it went downhill for me. I feel bad giving this a low rating but wanted to be honest. This is my first book by these authors and I admire them for writing about male domestic violence, although I think there should be some clearer trigger warnings for assault and rape. I also wish it was written somewhere (anywhere!) that this is part of a series. There is clearly 3 other couples, who each had their own books, that feature rather heavily in this but there is nothing to indicate this at all in the blurb or front of the book. Not only did this make for a lot of unnecessary information about them to get through but it’s put me off reading their stories now I know all their HEA’s and details about what happened in the previous books.

There is a lot of meandering about DC, plenty of information about dates, daily life details, interactions with friends and family. This was easily skimmable but disappointingly the main climax of the book (which was obviously going to happen and felt like it was building to it forever) was finished up in a few short pages and had way less detail than the shopping trip for new clothes with the mother in law or the trip to the art gallery. It also felt really unrealistic for this to happen! Both the appearance of the person and the conclusion. The idea was good but I just don’t think the execution worked.

There was some inconsistencies with Brandon’s injuries that irked me and also comments about the character being noticeably slow or his mobility affected by his injuries at some parts of the book but other times hiking and bike riding without a problem. Just little details that feel petty to mention but kept building up and I feel are worth mentioning as I feel bad leaving a low rating without an explanation.

I liked the couple initially and their connection was nice. There was some lovely moments and some really good focus around the impact of domestic violence in future relationships and on self esteem. Lots of this was covered really well and the hurt/comfort theme was strong but somehow by the end of the book I was just left feeling disappointed by it and eager to move on. I hope these authors do keep writing though!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Deanna.
2,561 reviews63 followers
January 26, 2021
Good Read

Started good. Brandon's journey toward Elizabeth felt real. Drug a little in the middle, but their love shone through. The last third of the book was worth the read. Enjoyed all the main characters. I loved the DC locale. The authors obviously know this wonderful city that I love. First time reading one of their stories. It won't be the last.
Profile Image for JD Crittendon.
1,118 reviews11 followers
August 10, 2020
Finding Joy & Love!

Legal Assistant Brandon & newly minted Lawyer Devin meet and begin to fall in love while navigating a past traumatic abuse, a crazy, lethal Ex, and work situations. This is a first time reading these authors, my initial thoughts were that the writing was somewhat simplistic, the MCs were likable enough and the premise was a well-used trope. However, I did enjoy the slower build-up of the relationship, the detailed settings, and the description of the DC area, etc.
There is no insta-love here. A very nice read, instead.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,500 reviews426 followers
August 4, 2020
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.25 stars

Too Close to the Flame tells the story of Brandon and Devin, characters who are part of the legal world built by authors Taylor and Harwood. All things considered, this title does fine as a standalone and, for readers who are interested in the supporting cast, each couple has their own book available as well. Fans of the other releases will probably enjoy the occasional scenes where the couples from previous books appear. Liam and John formed the most substantial support for Brandon and Devin, but the other two couples were sort of a blur to me.

At its core, this is a story about Brandon overcoming the violence he suffered at his ex’s hand. The attack itself is covered very briefly first thing in the book before the scene shifts immediately to Brandon in the hospital. This builds a strong foundation for the reader to understand what happened to Brandon and sets the stage for his trust issues later on.

Read Camille’s review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for Amy Dufera - Amy's MM Romance Reviews.
2,683 reviews121 followers
August 2, 2020
4.5 Stars

Too Close to the Flame is a powerful story by Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood.

This is a romance between two co-workers who are complex and have a lot of emotional baggage. One was abused and beaten by his ex, the other was cheated on. The men are both broken, not open to trusting anyone, but the attraction between the two is obvious.

Be warned, that Brandon was abused, beaten, and raped. If this is a trigger for you, run far away from this book. If you can read this, be warned that it's a tough read, but the journey in the end is worth it. The details of Brandon's past is gut wrenching. It is vile what this man experienced and the authors spare no expense at bringing his pain to light.

This is a story with major trust issues, and the fear of making oneself vulnerable again. The authors do an excellent job exploring the shame and self worth problems that can easily develop for the one being abused.

As a couple, the two have a fantastic dynamic. Both men have a lot to work on and I enjoy the way they do so together. Watching Devon work on letting someone in again makes for an intriguing read.

Written in alternating 1st person pov, these men come fully to life. Their thoughts and emotions are clear and evident. Both men are well developed and easy to fall in love with. There are plenty of secondary characters who add to the story and are supportive of the men. The authors also add in plenty of atmospheric descriptions that transport the reader to some famous locations.

Too Close to the Flame is an emotional tale of survival and healing. Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood will leave you up late into the night with this one. I definitely recommend this book the next time you are in the mood for a hurt/comfort read.
Profile Image for Pat.
1,249 reviews13 followers
July 31, 2020
Would it be easy to trust when your in a relationship?
As in your previous relationship you were abused physically and also mentally!

This happened to Brandon Webber and he carries the scars .

Devin Macadam meets Brandon and WOW the feelings are there between them straight away !

How this story is written is done in such a caring way.
You see Brandon growing in confidence and trusting Devin.
It isn’t always easy to trust someone but Brandon is beginning to realise that
Devin will always be there to support and love him.
This is an emotional read , you meet familiar faces that are in their previous books.
The ending is such a happy ending I had to read it over again ..
Great standalone book ...
Profile Image for Joscelyn Smith.
1,818 reviews13 followers
July 31, 2020
Devin and Brandon were wonderfully well-written and lovable characters. I loved the dynamic between them as Brandon fights his way back from the painful aftermath of his last relationship and Devin works on tearing down the walls he has built. A really wonderful, emotional story.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Becca.
2,533 reviews22 followers
September 18, 2020
Ok, there is a small trigger warning at the end of the blurb, but that doesn’t even come close to describing the triggers that could be for some. It describes in detail what happens to one of the MCs, and it’s not pretty. Abuse, beaten, raped and left for dead. And that’s just a small part. So if this is a problem for you be careful.
I’ve never read anything by these men, but this was one heck of a story. It is one of great heart break, but of hope as well. After Bran is brutally beaten by his ex, he’s terrified to let himself feel again. But when Devin joins the office, sparks go off the minute they touch. And Bran is starting to feel things that he’s never felt or could never dream of feeling. But he can’t. He knows he is too broken for Dev and starts to pull away immediately. He can’t take the chance of letting Dev get too close. But Dev is not willing to give in. He is patient with Bran, willing to let Bran take everything at his own pace. Not putting anything on Bran that he can’t handle. Until one misunderstanding. And then things turn bad for a bit. But as Bran talks with others, he realizes he’s about to lose the one thing he’s always wanted in someone if he doesn’t learn to let go and start to move forward. But can he do it or will he lose Dev because he can’t let go?
Surviving what Bran did was a miracle on its own. The fact that he got up and kept going, was an even bigger one. Doesn’t mean he didn’t need therapy or that he wasn’t terrified of things. But I love that he had a support system. And as he and Dev started really getting serious, he had to stop and look at the fact that Dev really was the perfect guy. He was caring, patient, fun, and so much of a good man. And that was everything Bran needed. He needed someone who would love him, despite what he had been through. Someone that saw through the cracks. Someone that saw that he wasn’t broken. Just a little worn down and bent some. But not broke. Because he picked himself up and he was doing things for himself that showed he was going to be able to take care of himself. And when push came to shove, he did several times over. It was scary, but he faced his fears and did what he needed to do. And I love them both. They are what each other needs and for them, it’s not always sunshine and roses, but it’s pretty close. And that’s what counts. They keep trying. And holding on to hope.

Profile Image for Amy Stauffer.
769 reviews18 followers
December 4, 2022
When we first meet Brandon, it’s not under the best circumstances. We get a look at the tragic aftermath of an abusive relationship. (TW: abuse happens off-page, but is discussed several times, including one with full details). It’s heartbreaking but is an important part of the story. It is a piece of Brandon’s history, and explains why he is the way he is. This is his story of healing and love, and it’s both emotional and beautiful. Brandon’s character is a survivor, who is at the precipice of being able to move forward, and LIVE his life, but he needs some gentle prodding. Devin’s arrival could be just the prodding he needs.

I love Brandon and Devin, together and separately. They were both written with sincerity and I felt like they were someone I could actually be friends with in real life. Brandon deserved the world, and if I had to draw up a character to fulfill that I would’ve chosen someone like Devin as well. While Devin brought out the best in Bran, it was also true in reverse. They both had something that just made the other...better. It was really enjoyable to watch as the story progressed. They were adorable and just made my heart happy.

I loved the way this story was written. It captivated me from the start. I was attached to Brandon by the time chapter one began and was rooting for him. I enjoyed the dynamics at the law firm. Yes, they were serious lawyers, and put in the work, but they were also a family (some were actually related). You could tell they had a history, and genuinely cared about their employees. They could also be playful and witty. They were all multidimensional, and well developed. After discovering several couples actually had their own books, I became eager to read them.

Overall, at the end of the day, this is a very well put together story, and I would absolutely recommend it. It will tug at your heartstrings and will have you running through several emotions before it’s over. I promise you that you will be smiling more than anything. With everything going on in the world these days, things that make you smile are precious. Read this book. I promise you’ll like it.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement. ***
458 reviews6 followers
July 30, 2020
I'll start this review with a TRIGGER WARNING reference the domestic violence, emotional abuse and rape referenced in this book. However, it is relevant to the story and very sensitively dealt with focusing mainly on survival and recovery.

Now, this is my first book from Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood and I can honestly say it won't be my last. This book was amazing. I loved the initial idea behind the story, the main characters are super cute and I totally wanted to be their mum (and have her money!!). They had a lovely supporting cast of family, friends and colleagues who loved and supported them through the trials, tribulations, babies, lunches, park dates, plane rides, Thanks Giving, museum visits, Therapist and hospital visits and much more. The whole cast of characters worked as one to create a sea of waves that was emotional and supportive of each other and the reader, because I was a toilet roll full of tears by the end of this book!!!

The writers managed to create a landscape for the reader who hasn't been to the places described; I found myself looking up the painting talked about at the MET just to see what they were laughing at so that I could join in with the boys. Or looking up memorials described during their walks in DC. I wanted to be holding their hands and under the crescent moon! The story ebbs and flows from page to page, chapter to chapter; never stopping. It's a complete page turner and I hated that life kept interrupting my reading time!

I loved this book and totally recommend that you add it to you summer reading now, go on, put it on your Kindle right now!!! xx

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Shweta.
224 reviews11 followers
August 25, 2020
A tender, hurt-comfort romance.
Brad and Dev's story make for a heart-warming tale of finding self, hope and opening yourself to love.

The blurb called out to me and I right away fell in love with both MCs. My heart went out to Brandon- the way he battled through his insecurities and the scars left by demons of the past. Dev was perfect for him in every way possible- being so open, accepting and with the genuine intention to do his best to bring Brandon's doubts to rest. 

Written in dual POV, the authors do a great job in giving us both perspectives- Brandon's struggle to open himself to love and intimacy again as well as Devin's efforts to make sure he's doing his best to put Brandon at ease. True romance at its best.  
|“I will always be here for you.” He let those words hang for a moment. “You don’t have to tell me anything, but I hope you will."|

Loved the cast of side characters, especially Liam, John  and Lauren. 

To sum it up, a beautifully written hurt comfort romance that is both tender and sweet and will leave you yearning for such love.
I look forward to reading more of the authors' works. 
3,104 reviews12 followers
August 3, 2020
That which doesn't kills us, . . . time and good friends makes us stronger! Brandon and Devlin are absolutely delightful. The initial chapter was hard. But it's a good set up for the process of discovery and growth. Brandon wakes up in severe pain from an event of unexpected brutality. 18 months later, Devlin starts his new job at a lawfirm, partnered by his cousin Liam. He cleverly sent his resume under another name, hoping to get the job on his merits an not family or put pressure on his relatives to hire him. I love this guy! Brandon and Devlin are instantly attracted to each other when they meet. Brandon is skittish and wary of men. Brandon is aware he must be cautious, even though he doesn't know why. Can Devlin give Brandon time? Is Brandon ready to let another man in his life? Can Devlin be what Brandon needs? Good story. The characters are all fun and likeable. All of the previous stories are equally great! I received an ARC from Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. Nice cover art.
428 reviews8 followers
August 6, 2020
Wonderful Book

This was my first time reading these authors and I have to say that I couldn't stop turning the pages fast enough. I loved how Devin fell head over heels at the first sight of Brandon when they met at the office. Brandon had so many insecurities because of the way Jeb hurt him not only physically but mentally too. Somehow love always finds a way and Devin's love for Brandon soothed and healed his soul. I loved all the side characters and how they all supported Brandon. I'm glad this topic of domestic violence was put in a book as I'm sure this happens more than we realize even in gay relationships. I'm just glad Brandon recovered and ended up stronger than before. Not sure if this is part of a series or not but I will definitely be reading more of these authors. I loved how they incorporated all the details about the places that were visited in New York. I felt like I was actually a part of it and now I want to go there and visit myself. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Aaron Parker.
3 reviews1 follower
October 2, 2021
So I've now had the pleasure of reading and listening to this book. It was my first introduction into Ryan and Josh's work, and I loved every bit of what I've read.

I was aware of their background in the field of Law, and its nice to how they've brought their knowledge into the story and weaved it throughout the plot. Now I love me some hurt/comfort, and this story doesn't skimp on it.

The way they wrote and described what Brandon has gone through, and still does, makes you really feel for him. Hes built this wall up around him, but then along came Devin who slowly starts to break down that wall and helps Brandon to heal and live life again. He knows it's not an easy fix, but he's determined to stick around for the long run.

This story left me wanting more, and I would love for Brandon and Devon to be visited again in the future.

For a first time read, I was impressed and enjoyed every page.

Well done to Ryan and Josh!
Profile Image for Emily Pennington.
16.6k reviews208 followers
August 2, 2020
This is an emotional telling of Devin and Brandon’s story that can be rough for some to read or can be cathartic. Brandon was abused, both physically and emotionally damaged very deeply. The thing that comes across so strongly for me is the patience that Devin draws on to work with Brandon and earn his trust. The reader can practically feel the healing start. The reader will also feel each hurdle Brandon has to overcome in slowly rebuilding himself into someone strong enough to reach out to another person and fall in love. That takes great courage. I am so glad Devin could be the man that Brandon needed to guide him through this and into a safe place where he can be who he was meant to be all along.

This is a beautiful story and very touching. These two characters were amazing. Grab your copy and follow the difficult path into hope. Will they get their HEA after all?
1,233 reviews7 followers
November 9, 2020
A really powerful, emotional, hurt/comfort story.
TRIGGER WARNING: the book opens with a prologue describing the horrors Brandon suffers at the hand of his boyfriend: he’s been beaten, raped and left for dead.
The story proper begins one year and a half later, in which Brandon hasn’t even remotely entertained the idea of getting anywhere near another man, as a matter of fact, even friendly touches from men he works with and knows well make him nervous. Enter the new layer in his firm: Devin Macadam, attractive and charming, and with an immediate crush on Brandon. With his patience and good nature he manages to slowly but surely get past Brandon’s defence and to let him be comfortable again.
I’ve had books from these two authors on my trl for a while and I am so glad I took a chance on them. I really enjoyed their writing style and I will surely catch up with the other couples.
Profile Image for Syd Springer.
3,220 reviews6 followers
July 30, 2020
This was an emotional MM read but oh so good. I loved watching Brandon grow and get strong after he was hurt so badly and Devin finally grew into the man; a man that Brandon needed. Devin helps Brandon grew and realize that he is strong and amazing on his own and Devin is just happy to be with him. These two were so great together; I loved them together. I honestly fought "adulting" so that I could keep reading; it was that good of a page-turner. I am really glad that I got to read Brandon's story. I can't wait to see what these two amazing author's come up with next. I would highly recommend this book and these two outstanding authors!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Elin.
882 reviews8 followers
March 3, 2021
This book had so much potential at the start, I was there for Bran finding his way back to living and Devin's interest in him.
But it went downwards rather quickly. It started to drag at 30% and at 70% I was skimming to figure out when the ex would appear again.
A book can have too much information, about mundane daily tasks and random places they visited, which didn't add anything to the story for me.
It's very possible that it's just me that can't handle reading a good 70% of a book about how much the chars love each other without any major bumps in the road.
I needed more and when the scene I had been waiting for was just a handful of pages at the very end of the book, I just felt I had wasted time reading it.
Profile Image for Ruby.
182 reviews3 followers
June 6, 2021
A Beautiful Emotional Story

What do you write about such a deeply moving story, that can express how the couple, Devin and Brandon, reached into your heart and squeezed every drop of emotion out of it. Brandon has been damaged by life, and his scars are on the inside as well as the outside. Devin is immediately captivated, and shows Brandon how love can be. Romance, white hot sex, and humor round out one of the most emotional books I've read all year. A must read.
Profile Image for Jessica.
42 reviews1 follower
September 11, 2020
There should be some indication in the summary or something that this is part of a universe of previously published books. I was so confused, there was too many backgrounds characters that I felt I was expected to know already and it just made the story too jumbled and confusing. It really should be indicated this book is part of a series.
Profile Image for Keith.
1,577 reviews6 followers
September 26, 2020
It’s OK

A fairly positive simple storyline with a bit of a rocky beginning. Lots of dialog and name dropping, more than I care for. For me, buying [Brand Name] shirt from [Brand Name] store adds nothing over buying a shirt from a store. Lots of references to the local DC area. There was a lot of dialog between Brandon and Devin which made them seem much younger than their ages.
Profile Image for Nathanael Key.
Author 1 book15 followers
November 3, 2022
💎Beautifully Written and Authentic Story💎
This was my first book by Joshua Harwood and Ryan Taylor. I didn’t know what to expect, but it certainly did NOT follow the tired old usual formula found in most gay (mm) romance stories. It was incredibly refreshing! After reading the blurb, I felt immediately that my personal experiences would allow me to connect with Brandon, and I wasn’t disappointed. From the opening page, I was glued to the story and had trouble putting down my tablet until I finished it.

The narrative doesn’t focus too much on Brandon’s traumatic past, and instead takes readers on a journey of his healing and eventual openness to love. Enter Devin, cousin to the law firm’s owner. Dev is exactly what Brandon needed and appears at the proper moment, just before Brandon allowed his heart to wilt and become numb. (I know that feeling too well and recognized it right away.)

There is an inherent sense of trust between Brandon and the firm’s owner, which ultimately helps him to open up to Devin. Chemistry soon forms, even while Brandon is careful to proceed, but the heart wants what it wants. And perhaps he’s more willing to see Devin for who he really is thanks to the familial bonds they all share in the office.

Beautifully written extras. Wonderful read. Can’t wait to check out their other books!
Profile Image for Shelby.
14 reviews14 followers
January 10, 2022
THIS BOOK!!! ❣❣It's everything I needed and more!!!! This is my first book by these authors and it's definitely NOT my last!!

When a book can capture your attention by the first page, you know its gonna be good! 🤗

Personal experiences made me fall in love with Brandon immediately! I just wanted to wrap him up and love him and tell him the future would be all right 🖤 Dev was everything you need from a person when dealing with trauma. His character was so sweet, patient and completely honest! I loved watching these two come to life on paper! Watching Brandon grow and learn to trust Dev had me in my feels ♡ These two just meshed!

The storyline kept you intrigued from the beginning and never seemed to drag! And can we talk about the sex scenes and the neediness from the characters 🔥🔥🔥

The ending, I'm not going to lie had my heart racing!! But damn if it wasn't good! Brandon went all, kickass and take names later mode 🤣 Honestly, I wasn't ready for their story to be over because I want sooooooo much more from them!! Like I wouldn't be mad if there was a book 2 or a novella released for them 🖤

All in all, I give this a 5 star rating and would highlyyyyyyyy recommend this book to anyone and everyone!!!
Profile Image for RACHEL REED.
941 reviews1 follower
July 24, 2020
Brandon Weber still bears the scars from his previous relationship both emotionally and physically.
It has been about a year, since Jeb, his ex has been put behind bars for aggravated assault and attempted murder. He is happier now, especially with his new job at the law firm. But when a handsome man with the most sparkling sapphire eyes shows up in his new workplace, he wants to give their connection a chance.

Devin Macadam has just graduated out of law school and is ready to take on the world and start his new job.
When he meets Brandon, the assistant at the law firm, he is instantly smitten with him.

Can Brandon learn to trust again despite the scars from his past or will his ex ruin his chances of finding happiness once again?

Devin was such a sweet, patient man. He was perfect fit for Brandon.
I absolutely loved their meet cute and how beautifully their relationship evolved. Jeb was the dark to Devin's light. He broke Brandon's body but not his spirit. Devin helped him to trust and helped him mend his heart along the way.

If you are looking for a dark to light, sweet romance with a HEA. I would definitely recommend this one
Profile Image for Deirdre.
1,458 reviews10 followers
March 29, 2021
Overcoming a Traumatic Past
I really enjoyed this book. The first half was quite traumatic as the reader learns what happened to the legal assistant at the hands of his cruel abusive Ex-boyfriend. What he endured even the verbal abuse leading up to the life changing event was terrible. If domestic abuse is a trigger please be forewarned.

Luckily the legal assistant worked at a law firm that was more of a family than corporation. He had friends who appreciated, looked out for, and protected him. He stayed away from relationships after his horrible experience until a newly graduated attorney joined the firm. There was a mutual attraction that was in need of careful monitoring.

The second half of the book was often hilarious and a lot more upbeat. The MCs really clicked. This was a well written book by Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood. I look forward to reading more by these authors.
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