Sometimes letting things get complicated is the best way to figure it all out.
Mick Randall is on the run, from the biker culture he grew up in and his impossible vision of love. Alaska should be far enough to escape his old life—until he rolls into a wrecking yard and gets lost in a pair of pale, bottle-green eyes.
Scotty Bell has spent years learning to channel his fiery temper into the heat of a welding torch. His sexual heat has always been slower to ignite, but one look at Mick rouses confusion alongside desire. In all his life, he’s only been attracted to one other person—his best friend, Mercy Taylor.
Mick lands a temporary job at the yard, and finds an uneasy crash pad at Scotty’s place…where the ragged ends of his emotions get tangled up in Scotty and Mercy’s relationship.
But when Mick hears a Harley engine from his past bearing down on him, his first instinct is to go back to the half-life he’d been living. Lest his secrets destroy the only two people who’ve ever made him feel whole.
Warning: Contains references to abuse, subversive ideas about sexual identity and gender expression, and a free-range bisexual on a mission.
I can't remember the last book I read where I wanted to give the two lead characters a big hug each right from the moment I met them on page. This is one thing the author did very well with this book, getting the reader to connect easily with the characters right from the start.
Perhaps it was the vulnerability of the characters. Perhaps it was that I could visualise them as real human beings trying to get on with their lives even when life keeps throwing shit at them. Perhaps it was their resilience in fighting for their place in the world. All these things are quite evident with this story.
Mick is on the run from his old life and headed for Alaska. But first he's making a stop over at a breaking yard so he can earn some money before he moves on. That's the plan anyway until he meets Scotty and subsequently, Mercy. Mick is carrying a whole lot of hurt and guilt. When he was a boy his mother left his brother and him under the care of his step father. But when something bad happens and his brother ends up in jail, Mick goes on the run.
Scotty works in the wrecking yard that his grandfather, Walt, owns. He's got a short fuse of a temper and is always ready to fight especially when it comes to defending the people he cares about. His father is in and out of jail regularly and Mercy is his only true friend who comes with 'benefits.' Well, that's until Mick arrives.
Scotty is confused by this attraction he feels to Mick as much as Mick is, especially with Mercy thrown into the mix. As individuals they feel insecure and uncertain. Together, they could become...complete? Will they work out their feelings in time before Mick high tails it out of Portland?
As I mentioned at the start, this is a story that engaged me. The characters are well-drawn. The story is well-written and moved along at a steady pace. There is a good spectrum of sexuality/gender covered including gay, bisexuality and transgender. There were moments when I wanted a bit more passion, a little more intensity. Still, this is a solid read and I'm happy to recommend it.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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