The only thing in Colin Mulligan's life that makes sense is taking cars apart and putting them back together. In the auto shop where he works with his father and brothers, he tries to get through the day without having a panic attack or flying into a rage. Drinking helps. So does running and lifting weights until he can hardly stand. But none of it can change the fact that he's gay, a secret he has kept from everyone.
Rafael Guerrera has found ways to live with the past he's ashamed of. He's dedicated his life to social justice work and to helping youth who, like him, had very little growing up. He has no time for love. Hell, he barely has time for himself. Somehow, everything about miserable, self-destructive Colin cries out to him. But down that path lie the troubles Rafe has worked so hard to leave behind. And as their relationship intensifies, Rafe and Colin are forced to dredge up secrets that both men would prefer stay buried.
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Hier wird eine gegen Ende des ersten Teils auftauchende Nebenfigur zur Hauptfigur. Er erzählt seine Story über das "Sich Bewußtwerden". Seine sexuellen Erstlingserlebnisse werdn wieder explizit beschrieben. Alles mit schönen aber treffenden Worten. Als liebenswertes Tier ist diesmal ein kleines Kätzchen dabei. Leider hat man hier keinen so guten Sprecher wie für den ersten Teil gefunden. Irgendwie liester sehr stocken....vielleicht ist er verschnupft oder sonstwie kurzatmig.... Aber mit der Zeit gewöhnt man sich an den Sprecher. Die Empfehlung ist die gleiche wie für den ersten Teil: Wenn man sein Englisch gut drauf hat und auf schwule Romanzen steht, dann ist man hier richtig. Heteros, die nichts dazulernen wollen *smile*, greifen lieber zu Frau Pilchers Romanen.
I think I could have had more understandings for Colin if he were a random stranger, or someone whose presence in the first book was more of a neutral nature, like some ex-neighbor for example. For me it was difficult to get used to a new transformed Colin, to Colin-a victim, and not Colin-an asshole. Despite the fact that at the end I got all logical explanations for his homophobia, his tendency to self-destruction, his pathological self-loathing and everything he did wrong in his life, I don't see it as a natural excuse for how he treated Daniel for the most part of his life.
And it has nothing to do with being gay or not, or fears or lack of self-esteem and understanding or whatever. It is ONLY about to be an older brother to a little boy.
Yes, I hated Colin in the first book, but I honestly did not hate him in the second book, I felt rather pity for him for the most part of the story: all bad things that could happen to someone did happen to him. His fears to disappoint his father, his pangs of remorse and guilt because of Daniel, his dark secrets and inability to be honest even with himself, all these could make him more to a case for a psychiatrist. You can’t NOT feel pity with him.
But I can't help, a broken Colin, who desperately tried to be someone else not to disappoint his father on the one side, and on the other side a small boy, who carried the same clothes for weeks at school, because his father drank himself to sleep for months after mother’s dead, who had to eat ordered pizza every day for so long that he practically puked at the smell of it, a kid who once asked his father if they could have cookies and a tree for Christmas and was immediately laughed at by Colin, because it was too girly, because this sweet child's wish made his father felt like he failed as a father, a kid who never mentioned Christmas again. A boy who never felt like he HAD A FAMILY who loved and cared for him.
Spencer Goss, an audio book narrator.
I really enjoyed the timbre of his voice, his emotional narration, the way he changed his voice from character to character. But I had a HUGE problem with his narrating style. When Colin was unsure or angsty or emotionally stricken or simply aroused– and it was actually his usual state – Spencer Goss started to to carve the sentences, as if there were points AFTER.EVERY.SINGLE.WORD. It drove me nuts!!! I was even closed to give up the audio book. Hadn't he had such a pleasant voice, I would have given it back for sure. I finished it with mixed feelings, hating and loving the narrator at the same time.
The bottom line:
I enjoyed the first book more.
I think that Spencer Goss is a great narrator, all he has to do is to change A BIT his narrating style. Though I assume he did it THIS WAY on purpose, BECAUSE he tried to make Colin VERY human and VERY broken to make us to forget how we hated him at the beginning of the series. Unfortunately it backfired.
Roan Parrish is a talented writer and I hope I'll like her next MCs more again.