Mr. Hassell has the ability to reach into your heart, grab it and squeeze it for all it’s worth and that is exactly what he did here.
Ashton was an interesting character. He was a conflicted, messy & deeply flawed human being. It’s a wonder how he still managed to be a sweetheart ; especially to those he cared for.
He allowed himself to be continuously taken advantage of by everyone;family included, all in the hopes of acceptance and love. At a point my chest was literally aching for Ashton and what he was going through(especially with Val’s dumbass hot and cold routine). I definitely didn’t agree with all his actions/decisions but I understood where he was coming from when he made them.
Now to the man called Val. Sigh.
Based on reviews, I expected to absolutely hate Val but surprisingly… I did not. Granted, he frustrated me to no end and I wanted to wring his neck on more occasions that I could count, but it was obvious that he loved Ashton.
For the first part of the book, he went about trying to hide this love in the worst possible ways in the history of worst possible ways. Evasion, ignoring, denial & rejection were the order of the messed up day when it came to Val. This made for a whole lot of drama which could’ve been avoided if he’d just opened his mouth to say what was glaringly obvious .Eventually though, he got his sh*t together.
One thing that also annoyed me but I totally get now is why he didn’t just tell Ashton about the secret he was holding on to. I kept on berating him in my head to just do it but in hindsight, though he shouldn’t have waited that long to do so, I got why in his warped sense of preserving what they had, he kept so long. (hide spoiler)]
Moving on, I was glad when Ashton finally grew a pair and started doing his own thing. I just wish he had done so earlier and I also wish that there was more page time showing him kicking ass on his own two feet.
I don’t think I have to say anything about the writing, pacing and the like because this was a Santino Hassell after all so you KNOW those were fully covered. It also mentioned that this is the longest so far in the series? Huh. I did NOT notice because the pages just flew by for me.
Charles’ book is next and I wonder who he’ll be paired with since his on-and-off boyfriend is a serious douchecanoe. I’m thinking Luis maybe? Lol…that would be interesting . ❤️