Title: I swear to You
Author: Sloan Parker
Publisher: Loose ID
Released: 29th April 2014
Genre: M/M (Contemporary)
When roommates Grady and Mateo give in to their growing lust, it’s the best sexual experience of their lives. But are they really gay? Is this just sex or something more? It takes time for confused Grady to figure that out, but once he does, he’s determined to have all of Mateo. Too bad tracking down brokenhearted Mateo proves impossible.
So what’s a horny gay virgin who wants only one man to do? Grady posts an ad online to encourage his friend out of hiding and into his bed. Once he gets Mateo between the sheets, he’s sure he can convince him that what they had together was no college experiment. But Mateo’s been hiding from something—or someone. Grady is determined to tear down all Mateo’s walls so he can find out what happened to him and help heal his wounds, and in the process show his best friend that he won’t run. Not this time. He swears.
I just love a book about second chances and forgiving, about lost souls finding home, about never giving up hope on someone no matter how much time and distance has played a role.
This book has all these elements and more. Mateo and Grady have been friends since they were teenagers and roommates at college and Mateo came to see Grady’s family as his own because his own family background was not so loving. Although they were a little more than best of friends after one sexual encounter in college they both went their speprate ways. Mateo saw and accepted that he was gay, but this was totally acceptable for Grady. Grady found the whole encounter extremely erotic, but couldn’t accept he was gay, going into total denial, going through two very quick and disastrous marriages, probably only to prove to himself that he wasn’t gay. However, as we all know these things never work out and all the years they were apart and Grady was married, he still kept pining for Mateo deep down inside. I guess that many men go through this self-denial, lord knows I did but thankfully never ended up getting married. I always think this hits the woman the worst and is rather a dishonest and rotten thing to do, but accepting your sexuality for some is easier than for others and this was definitely the case for Grady and Mateo.
I’m not generally a huge lover of prologues / epilogues or any other kind of -logues, but here the prologue is necessary to understand where both men have come from when they meet again six years later. Therefore between the end of the prologue and the first chapter six years have elapsed and we gradually find out what has shaped their lives in those six years. It adds to the whole healing effect for me personally considering they part on not so good terms. Although like two lovers it hurt both incredibly, their lives go in separate directions and at least six years pass before they catch sight of each other again. Grady has now realised that he cannot deny any longer that he is gay and one day at the local pride festival spots Mateo in the crowd. All the feelings of what happened all those years ago come to the surface and when Mateo sees Grady he immediately runs off. Grady runs after him but isn’t fast enough and Mateo disappears once again. So now the quest is on for Grady to find Mateo.
I could feel Grady’s emotional turmoil, he desperately wishes to put things right with Mateo, beg forgiveness and try to win him back, but where does he start looking, how on earth can he find Mateo, even if after all these years would Mateo even want to speak to him. Quite a tall order if you ask me, but I guess where there’s hope there’s love. Grady’s frustration was palpable, someone looking for absolution, he knew he made a huge mistake and needs to be forgiven. He realises that he had never stopped loving Mateo. Oh I was just willing Grady on to find Mateo, keeping my fingers crossed that he could be found. Thing is though, even Grady’s brother who is a policeman couldn’t even trace him, as though Mateo had completely disappeared and dropped of the planet. Obviously someone who is able to disappear without a trace has a reason and this gets Grady even more concerned for his well-being. Thank goodness for the internet, after Grady puts in several announcements seeking Mateo, he answers in a quick message and this enables Grady to track him down.
When they first meet Mateo is less then pleased to see Grady, you can feel the anger and hurt in him still from when he was jolted by Grady all those years ago. With force Grady takes him the boathouse of his family where they spent many a happy hour and the healing process begins. I just loved this part of the book. They have to discover themselves anew and Grady has to unlock and tear down all the emotional scars and walls that Mateo has been left with. Grady handled this marvelously and showed that even though they have been apart for a long time and have had totally different experiences in life, the friends / lovers / people they were all those years ago are still in there somewhere. After Mateo left he fell in quite innocently with the wrong crowd and this has left him, broken, scarred physically and emotionally, paranoid and distrustful of anyone. Grady senses this and embarks on the healing process bringing Mateo back home.
For me it was exactly this that was the most beautiful part of this book. Grady bringing Mateo’s lost soul back home. Giving him shelter and love, promising that he is never ever going to leave again. Of course this is never an easy thing to do and several hurdles have to be jumped over first, especially with Mateo being so cagey. When Mateo opens up you perfectly understand why and I could have cried rivers, he leaves home a perfectly innocent teenager, falls in love with the wrong person and then he is now totally damaged goods. I guess we are all a product of our experiences and you can certainly see this in Mateo. What exactly happened to him you’ll have to read for yourself, but after reading it I just wanted to cuddle Mateo and tell him that everything will be OK. This also added for some suspense in the story, knowing that Mateo was being followed and hunted which leads to a dramatic ending to their story, but a necessary one in order for them to make a new start with a clean slate.
All the action happens over one weekend at Grady’s family’s boathouse, but this was the best thing for Mateo it brings him back to a comfort zone where he could feel safe once again with Grady. The story revolves around two MCs, but they have a lot to get through and you can feel the emotion in the characters through Sloane’s writing. Therefore the book kept me enthralled all the way through, the emotional roller-coaster ride they have to go through is heart-rending, as it is hopeful and healing. They ending was oh so sweet, I just loved this feeling that everything has been sorted out, all the trials and tribulations have been put to rights and the healing has worked. It really is a coming home story of two lost souls that after all they have been through cannot deny that they are soul mates and destined to be together and always had been.
About the Author
Sloan Parker writes passionate, dramatic stories about two men (or more) falling in love. Sloan enjoys exploring the lives of people who are growing as individuals while falling in love.
Her novels MORE and BREATHE are winners of the Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance. MORE is also the 2011 EPIC eBook Award Winner for Mystery, Suspense, and/or Adventure Erotic Romance.
Sloan enjoys writing in the fictional world because in fiction you can be anything, do anything...even fall in love for the first time over and over again. She lives in Ohio with her partner and their neurotic cats. Her greatest moments in life are spent with her family, her friends, and her characters.
Connect with the Author
Sloan will be giving away on ebook copy of I Swear to You as well as any ebook of the winners choosing from her back list.
Just enter the Rafflecopter draw below. Good luck!