Jenre's Reviews > Love Means... No Boundaries

Love Means... No Boundaries by Andrew  Grey
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's review
Mar 19, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, m-m, romance
Read on April 05, 2010

Love Means…No Boundaries is the third in the series of the Love Means... books by Andrew Grey. I really liked the other two books in the series and I was very much looking forward to reading Joey’s story.

We first meet Joey in Love Means…No Shame as a teenager hired by Geoff to muck out the stables in payment for riding lessons. At the start of this book Joey is now a young man who after finishing college came back to the farm to work for Geoff as his crop manager. Joey has recently been in a motorcycle accident which left him basically unharmed apart from a series of bad scars on his face. This has left Joey with a great deal of self loathing for his marred looks which is not helped by the reactions of the townspeople when they see him. The actual story begins when Eli and Geoff take in a young man, Robbie, who is touring with an orchestra and staying in the area for a couple of weeks. Robbie is blind and Joey finds that he can relax around Robbie as well as help Robbie become more confident and strong in relation to his disability. It isn’t long before the pair develop feelings for one another despite knowing that Robbie will soon be returning home.

The story is told in the third person alternating between Joey and Robbie. I found the sections of the book where we get to ’see’ things from Robbie’s point of view absolutely fascinating. Robbie is away from home for the first time and trying to live independently of his controlling mother, who still phones him three times a day, and his best friend Arie, who also tries to coddle him. The way that all the descriptions are done by sound and smell were very evocative, especially when it came to Robbie’s growing feelings for Joey. I liked that Robbie is attracted to Joey’s firm, but not painful, grip on his arm as he helps him, his voice and his smell before he even gets to know Joey as these fill in for the usual initial visual attraction that is usually found in romance. In many ways the story is not just about the developing attraction that Robbie and Joey have for each other but also about Robbie realising that he is gay and all the internal turmoil that brings. This aspect of the book was also done well as we are able to join Robbie as he thinks through his attraction to Joey and all the problems/solutions that brings to Robbie.

In terms of the character development in Joey, most of his growth in story is not to do with the acceptance of his sexuality – he’s already comfortable with that – and more to do with accepting his newly disfigured looks and to stop being hurt by the often unconscious reactions of other to his scarred face. Robbie’s blindness helps a lot with that, but as his facial scars begin to heal, so do his mental ones as Robbie teaches him that the most attractive part of himself is his kind personality. It was quite delightfully done.

As the blurb suggests towards the end of the story there is a separation between the characters. Normally I don’t like forced separation in my books, but in the case of this book it was inevitable and so I found that easier to accept. It also didn’t last long as within a few pages Joey goes to visit Robbie and they are reunited. This last part of the book had a mixed response form me. On one hand I knew that it was necessary as part of Robbie finally growing up and becoming independent for us to see him in his own environment. However, I also found it baffling and a bit irritating that two grown men had to sneak about like teenagers and that Robbie’s mother behaved like some sort of guard on Robbie’s virtue. I can understand why this happened – Robbie may be a grown man, but he’s allowed others to treat him like a helpless child right through into adulthood – but it didn’t stop me getting a bit annoyed, especially as Joey played right along instead of standing up to Robbie’s parents.

Apart from that very slight niggle, this book was just as enjoyable as the others in the series. Like the previous books the focus is very much on the romance of the story and the development of the feelings of the two men for each other. There’s lots of other great parts too such as Robbie’s passion for his violin, the way that Joey allows Robbie to take part in farm life and little quirky things like the dog Rex and his kittens, which all added to the general atmosphere and my enjoyment of the book. There’s also a peek into the life of Geoff and Eli for those fans of the first book, but not too much that it detracts from the current romance. For those who haven’t read the other books in the series, then it doesn’t matter as this can be read as a stand alone, but I would perhaps suggest that you read Love Means…No Shame first to get the background on Geoff and Eli, and how Joey fits in with that.

If you’re looking for a gentle, sweet romance with good characterisation which also deals sympathetically with the issue of blindness, then you can’t go wrong with this book. Highly recommended.
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