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Too Close to the Flame

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  52 reviews
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 Eighteen months later, he has withdrawn into himself, convinced he’ll never be able to trust another man.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
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published July 31st 2020 by Wainscott Press
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  170 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 his live-in boyfriend.

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

It's 18 months later before he's even
Denise H.
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 tone
True Loveislovereview
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hurt-comfort, lgbtq, 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 t
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
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.
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Well I was really disappointed coz the book started off really good! I was there for that domestic abuse storyline and then there was nothing! Literally nothing! I really skimmed most of the second half of the book because it was boring as hell! I hate when books get my hopes so high at the beginning then end up smashing all my hopes to pieces and leave me just wondering wtf happened to the awesome story I was getting into!
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
JD Crittendon
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joyfully Jay
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
Amy Dufera - Amy's MM Romance Reviews
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
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
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
Joscelyn Smith
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review and rating to come upon release.

Review: https://lovelessritsuka-soubi.blogspo...
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Amy Stauffer
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 ...more
Reading to Stay Awake
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 m
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 a
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 relat ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 thi
Emily Pennington
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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 anot ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
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 Macada
Syd Springer
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
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 sto ...more
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 an
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
T Paul
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The past should never define us, however, it certainly leaves it’s mark on us. Brandon, forced into a meek and frightened condition, finds moving into a relationship with Devin difficult. This book has a graceful way of dealing with abuse, it’s a harsh reality to some so watching the healing of a “victim” can be cathartic. I found myself emotionally invested with the story and the healing that was going on. The love story was beautiful in and of itself, though, to me it took a backseat to the pr ...more
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story packs an emotional punch. It's both a gut-wrenching yet lighthearted and happy read, full of love and hope. Brandon's past is not easy to read about but with Devin by his side, he starts to see that love may be possible for him again. The pacing and character development are well-done, and the difficult issues are dealt with care. Both characters are extremely likeable and had me rooting for them right from the beginning. Devin, especially, is one of the best characters ever! He is in ...more
Susan Anne
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I‌ ‌received‌ ‌a‌ ‌copy‌ ‌of‌ ‌Too Close to the Flame ‌by‌ ‌Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood via‌ ‌IndiGo‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌&‌ ‌Design‌ ‌in‌ ‌exchange‌ ‌for‌ ‌an‌ ‌honest‌ ‌review.‌ I almost did not read this book because I was not sure about a seriously abused person falling in love so fast. The authors did not gloss over the trials Brandon faced on his road to overcoming his past and Devin grew during the process too. Devin was always a good guy, like his cousin Liam, but he matured into the partner ...more
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OMG! I loved this story! This is my first with these authors and, although I could tell there were stories involving some of the other characters in previous books, it did not impinge on this one for me. My first with these authors, I was so impressed I joined their Facebook group and got such a wonderful welcome from them and the members. Brandon is so damaged he doesn’t think he can ever live a normal life again, until he mets Devin. This is such a sweet and gentle love story, Devin knows imme ...more
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 mu
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
Too Close to the Flame by Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood is Devin Macadam and Brandon Weber’s story. This is one of my favorite reads and one that I will read again. The characters feel amazingly real and feel like friends.

The authors created a beautiful entertaining story with real characters that covered a difficult subject but did it in an uplifting and caring way. A story of courage, trust, healing and finding that forever love.

Check out Brandon’s courageous journey as a survivor to trust ag
Sara Sigler
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
***spoiler alert ***Brandon had been beaten so bad by the last guy he had been that pins were were put in his leg and had broken ribs and arm. Job had been arrested and put in prison and Brandon swore no more. Liam and John his bosses helped him a lot then Liam hired his cousin to the law firm. The first day Brandon noticed Devin but he didn’t want to do anything with him, Brandon was remembering the way he had been treated before. Finally Devin wore him down and took everything at Brandon’s pac ...more
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