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review 2017-08-16 02:06
Release Day ARC Review: Out Of The Shadows by KC Wells
Out of the Shadows (Dreamspun Desires Book 40) - K.C. Wells

I adored this so much! What a sweet romance between one hunky gardener/handyman and one damaged, hiding young man who thinks an accident 8 years ago that left him severely scarred turned him into a monster not fit for society. 

Josh is a gardener/handyman for an apartment complex and has been tasked with modernizing some of the apartments by upgrading the kitchens and bathrooms. The first apartment is the home of a mysterious resident, whom nobody has apparently ever seen. Josh is a really nice guy, easy-going and kind, and he has no preconceived notions about the man who lives in the apartment. Josh feels he's there to do a job, and he plans on doing a good one. He also has a nice group of friends, including two (Nate and Dylan) who may be given the "oblivious men of the year" award. I sure hope the author has a book planned for them as well. 

Christian made a horrific mistake 8 years ago while helping a stranded motorist to jump-start his car and hooked up the wrong side first, resulting in severe acid burns to his face, arms and chest. He moved to Boston to start a new life - if you can call it a life - and cut himself off from friends, family, and everyone. He orders what he needs online, groceries are delivered to his front door, and he only rarely goes outside, and when he does, it's at night, cloaked in darkness. He's afraid of people's reactions to his scars and would rather be alone than see them pity him or recoil from him.

Unbeknownst to Josh, Christian has been watching him work in the flower beds and such, admiring and lusting after him. Of course, Christian has no illusions of getting any closer to Josh than through the window, but ogling is enough. Or so he tells himself.

On the first day of the renovation job, Josh believes that Christian isn't home, but the truth comes out, and Christian has a difficult time believing that Josh's reaction to the scars (and the monster he sees in the mirror) is so calm and accepting.

A mutual love for Harry Potter brings them closer, they share lunch every day while Josh is working on the apartment, and even after he's done and has moved on to the next place, and it was so lovely to watch Christian begin to trust Josh, who starts to draw the slightly older man out of his shell. Shared lunches turn into watching a movie at the theater (late at night, of course), and meeting Josh's friends.

Christian blossoms under Josh's unfailing support, and their mutual attraction fairly quickly turns into real emotions and a desire to be together. Josh helps Christian realize that what he sees in the mirror is not a monster after all, and that while some people may react in a way Christian expects them to (recoiling in horror), the majority of folks do not. 

I would have liked Christian to consider therapy to deal with his self-hatred, because Josh is not a therapist, and while he provided steady support, love, and understanding, I wasn't sure that Christian's rather rapid progression to being comfortable in public spaces (after hiding for so long) was completely realistic. However, considering that this is a Dreamspun Desires title, this did not influence my rating or enjoyment of this book.

The author did a great job with the characters, and their romance was believable within the parameters of this series. Their story is, while definitely on the fluffy side, super romantic and hopeful, and their HEA was well deserved. A quiet, low-key romance, very little angst, and so very sweet - I had a fabulous time reading it.

And I'm serious about Nate and Dylan needing their own book. Please get right on that, Ms. Wells.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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text 2017-08-11 22:19
Reading progress update: I've read 82%.
Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere Book 2) - Roan Parrish

“Before, I was—before I met you was… terrible. Everything was terrible. I was… terrible. I didn’t mean to be. I just… I couldn’t—and then I met you and now, I can’t—if you weren’t—I don’t… I—”

 

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text 2017-08-11 14:01
Reading progress update: I've read 72%.
Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere Book 2) - Roan Parrish

“In prison, people build themselves up. They construct a… a version of themselves that they think is most likely to get them out of the situation with as little damage as possible. It’s not a lie, exactly, but they emphasize some traits, cover some up. They say certain things but keep others private. And it’s armor, just like doing push-ups and lifting weights to build up their bodies. And you just… I don’t know, if you pay attention, you learn to translate it. You see which parts are armor and which parts are weapons.”

He strokes his thumb against my neck. Our faces are so close I can feel his breath warm on my cheek, see the jagged scar that breaks his eyebrow and the frown lines on his forehead.

“Armor,” he goes on. “Armor’s not dangerous. That’s for survival. It’s weapons you have to watch out for. And you—” He strokes my lips with his thumb. “It’s mostly armor, Colin. And when you’re with me, the armor falls away. Who you are without it… it’s beautiful.”

 

❤️❤️❤️ Still one of my favorite scenes. ❤️❤️❤️

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review 2017-08-11 06:04
Hiding
Out of the Shadows (Dreamspun Desires) - K.C. Wells

Christian lives his life in hiding.  He watches, works, and basically hides from the world.  The same world that dealt him a cruel blow of fate.  He is interested for the first time in someone.  Does not even know his name.

 

Josh usually works in the gardens on the property.  While the renovations are going on he will be working inside the units.  He meets Christian and it is almost game over from the start.  The attraction is immediate.  The voice, the humor, the mystery.... it just all makes for a hot package.

 

This story is a very realistic & sweet account of how it is possible to look past the obvious and find someone attractive.  I think we learn a lot from these characters.  I found myself unable to put the book down.  I hope we get to learn more about the other characters inside this great book.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only. 

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