Not sure I will ever tire of this. And now probably my favorite of Roan’s Books. Just amazingly written and narrated.
I swear this gets better and better with each listen. So much love for Will and Leo and thank the heavens for the voice of Spencer Goss. ❤️❤️❤️
Even better the second time through. Not sure I've ever analyzed a book or a relationship as much as I have this one. Thanks Nathan for continuing this with me each and every listen. ❤️❤️❤️
I told him about Will. By the time I got to the part where Will had kissed me and then left for New York the next day, Skinny Jeans was shaking his head.
“Tell me you didn’t. Tell me you didn’t pull a full-on Felicity and come to school in New York to follow this Will guy.”
“Felicity’s my jam! Whatever, don’t judge me.”
And like Felicity, Leo’s journey is one of recognizing that love isn’t like a movie. That reality may not always work out the way you think. That the path may be difficult but it’s worth it.
I knew Milton was joking about me acting like I was in a rom-com, running to confess my love before the plane could take off or whatever. But it hit a little too close to Will’s comments about me being a romantic for comfort. My only relationship experience was from books, movies, and TV, so of course I had absorbed that stuff. And maybe when I’d first gotten here my hopes for me and Will had kind of skewed in that direction. But I was pretty sure that recently I’d—what? Grown out of it? Or, just seen that there were a lot of ways for relationships to go. A lot of ways that romance could look different.
And this one is no doubt different. This is not your typical romance. Not your typical swoonfest with exclamations of love and candlelit dinners. But this felt real to me. And there are conversations throughout this book…whether they are with Layne, or Milton, Daniel or Rex that are such a captivating exploration into relationship dynamics and understanding people that it made some of what happened with this couple work.
Like all of Roan’s books, her characters are so well developed and complex. Nothing is ever what it really appears on the surface and diving further into understanding what makes a relationship between two people work is always an intriguing journey. This book especially. And while this has some heartbreaking scenes, seeing both characters grow and evolve with the other just worked for me.
One afternoon when the subway got delayed on my way up to Will’s apartment it hit me with a startling clarity. This was the problem with scripting romances in your head. When someone doesn’t hit the beats, you expect of them you have no idea what their actual behavior means. Will had tried to tell me. So had Gretchen. Even Layne, in her way, had told me. That this was what being a romantic looked like: paying more attention to your own expectations than to the very real person in front of you.
Now is this book for everyone? Maybe not. But I have to say. I have never felt a book needed a narration like I feel this one does. Will and Leo both are very different and I am sure many want to smack Will around and beat his head in…but I never got there with him. He was never a character that I felt wasn’t blunt about where things stood. Will needed a voice. He needs to be heard to be understood. And Spencer Goss’ narration does that. Spencer brings these characters to life. Makes them real. And for some reason with this book, it is needed more than ever. Will’s heart is missing from this book, I think, if you only read the words presented on paper and Spencer gives it to you.
As I stated above, this is not your typical romance but it is a love that I am certain will last. Is it tied up with your typical HEA bow?? No, because that is not this couple. But do I think they have the HEA? I do. I really do.
I am so glad I took a chance on this book. While I had not read the blurb or any reviews, I have heard rumblings of dis-satisfaction. What a shame. I’m in awe again over the characters, the writing and the relationships that Roan brings forth on the page. I eagerly await more...*cough cough Milton* and hopefully another narration with Spencer. This pairing knows how to tell a story.
“I regret the wasted time and energy. I regret what you went through. I will forever doubt there’s more to life than a limp shuffling toward a grave with just a few bright spots in between…”
Matěj snorted at the last one. “That’s a neat way to sum it up,” he commented sarcastically, making Simon smile into his hair.
Simon breathed in and out, the warm scent coming from Matěj’s nape underlined by the crisp air around them. “But tonight, my beautiful boy, the light is so bright I might as well be blind.”
I am going to try very hard as I write this review not to completely fall apart. It has been a while since a book has impacted me quite as emotionally as this one has. And while the tears have fallen, behind them was such beautiful and heartfelt emotion for these characters. The writing is quite captivating and like with all of Roe’s books, quite unique. The structure of this one drew me in from the start and while it is the journey of 2 characters, it is the story of a group of friends as well. It is about finding Home, about finding YOUR family and about finding “happiness and peace of mind”.
This is not what I would call a traditional romance but it is a love story. As the title indicates, this is in fact “A Love Song”. For me music can be felt in your soul. It can impact you with no words at all. And like with this beautiful “Love Song”, not everything is said with words. To end one section of a book and simply turn a page, only to find yourself so emotionally impacted takes a talent that is hard to fully understand. This book does that. You will feel every emotion. Every act. Every touch. Every breath and every action. There are small gestures which read in the context of the book, mean everything. This is about darkness and light and the colors in between. This is about finding the person who helps you see though the darkness to find happiness and joy, love…to see light.
Matěj treated life like delicious food, just like he appreciated Simon’s books and hummed around a beer bottle. The boy knew how to enjoy things, how to marvel at things, how to savor impressions, how to feast on a pleasurable moment to its maximum capacity. It was a singular skill, wildly to be admired. When Simon found himself at the center of the man’s attention, those were easily the happiest minutes of his entire life. Everything in between lost color.
Let me not forget all the little things (which are actually quite big things)…the stick figures (yes, I just caught my breath and shed a tear); Tom Waits (who alone can conjure the right feelings and emotional tone of this story); dear Simon’s black and white apartment, and one of the most memorable and heartwarming trips to an ER I have read. Add to this a cover that alone captures so much emotion and relates brilliantly to the darkness that surrounds these characters.
I know I have not said what this book is about. Honestly I can’t put it into any words that will make sense. It is a Song that must be heard for yourself…because how can you describe music that touches your soul? You can’t.
*An ARC was received from the Author in exchange for an honest review.*
“You don’t have to prove yourself worthy of me. You are worthy of me, just as I’m worthy of you."
For me this was not simply about the acts of a BDSM relationship but was the complete development of a true D/s relationship and one that was done so with such depth, attention and patience. The character development, including their doubts, hesitancy and questions revolving around their worth to their partner was beautifully captured.
While I have read several BDSM books, I have not always been comfortable reading about these types of relationships. Perhaps it has been more about the acts before, or what I feel can be overly aggressive Dominates and quite weak submissives. And that is awful to say and certainly is not meant in any way as demeaning but it was just not always something I understood. There have been a few books however that explain better the power that the submissive holds…that they ultimately hold all the power with one simple word. And out of all the books I have read involving BDSM, it is this one that I feel has captured the true nature of these relationships best.
This is not a quick read. This is not a read in which involves only the acts, as the majority of the book is not about scenes but about the interactions, the trust building, and the dynamics and ultimate ability to know your partner, their needs and their desires.
I also honestly never before got the level of worshipping that a Dom can have toward their sub. But this aspect made all the difference for me. Gideon, while Dominate, is so enthralled by His Boy, so utterly devoted to him, that it was seeing his sheer love expressed in a look, in a gesture or in his thoughts and actions that made me all the more captivated by him. And it was these moments which made their dynamic stronger for me as partners.
“You keep getting on your knees for me.” He sighed and glanced back down at the box. “It feels wrong.”
“Why? Because you’re convinced that as my sub you should always be below me?”
Sebastian shrugged. “Yeah. I mean, I’m serving you, not the other way around.”
“You don’t think I do the same for you?”
Sebastian tilted his head in confusion and shook his head. “You should never serve me.”
Gideon chuckled at that and said, “Of course I should. We’re serving each other. We just do it in different ways. You’re offering your service to me as my submissive. But I’m also offering my service to you as your Dominant. We’re equals in this, Sebastian.”
“You really believe that?”
“Fuck yes! I absolutely do. I can do nothing with you, to you, unless you have given your express permission. That power is in your hands. You know this.”
Sebastian nodded. “Yeah. I mean, I guess. I just never thought of it that way. That doesn’t seem right.”
“I’m giving you what you need, just as you are doing for me. If that isn’t service, I don’t know what is.”
While this book is long, it is not without reason. Every scene in some way has a point, shows the true character of our main MCs and therefore nothing ever seemed pointless. Even the scene with Boone and Connell had value and was so damn perfect at capturing the nurturing aspect of Gideon.
The rope scenes for me were so intricate in their descriptions that I longed to have the imagery from Khaleo’s camera…not only in scene but in aftercare as well. The images of the marks and indentions left in the skin, just beautiful crafted.
“Look at the lines on your body caused by the ropes. They’re beautiful. You’re beautiful."
Luna David, I have to say, not only impressed me with her in depth exploration into BDSM but into the health conditions that our sweet Sebastian lives with. I felt this part of the story to be well researched and thoughtful. While I am not a physician, it all felt quite accurate and ultimately personal.
The story telling aspect of this also worked well for me. While much of the story is a back and forth POV, there are several key scenes which are told from both POV and it was those that became the most touching of the story. The New Year’s Eve scene being the most heartbreaking of them all. I also enjoyed that while at times, it seemed certain scenes were skipped, we later got these told in memories, which I loved. I am not sure this book would have worked had only one POV been described. This was a couple and therefore their thoughts, actions and love for the other were of utmost importance in making this successful.
Now, I did not read the first 2 books in this series…honestly after hearing the praises surrounding this book and in seeing the cover, there was just no way I could wait. And while a standalone, part of me does wish I had read the others first. I was a little confused during the first hospital scene, feeling as though I walked into a family dinner not knowing who was there or what their relationships entailed. I also feel like I may have gotten some inkling into what Sebastian looked like, having perhaps gotten other's perspectives on this man in previous books. So again, while it really didn’t matter as this couple goes, it kinda mattered to me. I will go back and read the others if for no other reason than to see sweet Braden’s story. He was such a loving spirit and friend and I need more of him.
I do hope we eventually get Killian’s story. He popped on page only briefly but there is no doubt a story behind this intriguing man. And while I am no longer a big reader of M/F, I would read Finn and Zoe’s story. How this doctor came to embrace this lifestyle to be what he needed for the woman he loves. I am on board.
There are so many aspects of this story that I have failed to even acknowledge, from their backgrounds, to their families, to the tattoos and Sebastian's love of art, and pets, every aspect was so beautifully and amazingly crafted. I guess I will just have to reread this at some point and expand on those elements as well. Until then, I cannot recommend this journey enough.
Spoilerish Bonus Quote…read at own risk…but it is absolutely beautiful.
Gideon leaned down and kissed his head, over and over, everywhere he could reach, paying particular attention to the raised, bumpy edges of his scar. His boy’s sobs were wracking his whole body at that point and Gideon’s heart was breaking.
“You’re so good, baby. So strong. Let it out. I’m so fucking proud of you. So proud. You’re the bravest man I know.”
Gideon touched and stroked Sebastian’s face, his head, his shoulders, and his neck, telling him how beautiful he was, how he’d never been more attracted to anyone in his life, how proud he was to be with him, and finally how lucky he knew he was that Sebastian had chosen him.
Even better the second time around. ❤️❤️❤️
And a third. ❤️❤️❤️
Well I realized once I had finished my reread that I had never written a review. And that is rather irritating considering this landed in my Best of 2017 list. Bottom line…it’s wonderful and extremely sexy.
I think originally I indicated that this is likely my second favorite of Riley’s after “Broken Pieces”. And even after a reread, that holds true. I adored this couple, their history and their ability to put the past aside and see the person standing before them today. Van is filled with such regret that at times it is quite painful to hear and yet at the same time the past is equally painful for Shane.
“You think I haven’t regretted that every goddamn day of my life since then? That I haven’t hated myself for it? That I haven’t thought of a million ways I could try to make it up to you? Because I have, and no, I know that doesn’t make it better. I know what I did, Shane. I live with it every fucking day of my life, the same way I’m sure you do. No matter how much we try to forget our pasts, they’re always fucking there.”
It definitely takes a special man to come to see Van as something different. Shane was nurturing, devoted and strong and yet he is trapped. His relationship with his mother is quite beautiful and yet equally heartbreaking. It is not until Van that Shane can truly be free in every sense of the word.
The photography aspects of this are what truly shined for me. Van drawing Shane out little by little to see what he sees. The truth, the passion, the man. It is beautiful.
(Thanks again to Cinna for the beautiful images)