Author ~ Brigham Vaughn
Publisher ~ Two Peninsulas Press
Published ~ 2015 October 16
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
After a lifetime of being told he’s worthless, shy, sheltered Evan Harris is forced out of the closet and kicked out of his home. Friends in Atlanta give him a place to stay while he gets on his feet, but despite his eagerness to explore the city, it isn’t exactly what he expected.
Physically and emotionally scarred from a devastating car accident, Jeremy Lewis struggles to reconcile the brash, outgoing man he used to be with the social recluse he’s become.
Loneliness draws them to each other, but a strong mutual attraction isn’t enough to overcome their pasts. In order to be together, Evan must discover his own worth and Jeremy must trust someone to see past his scars
At just 20 years old, Evan finds himself unemployed, homeless and running from the small town he grew up in. With little money and nowhere else to turn, he winds up in Atlanta, taken in by Russ and Stephen. He barely knows the two men, but connected with Russ when they briefly returned to Putnam to bury Stephen’s father. For shy, quiet Evan, who was terrified of being outed in his small town, Atlanta and the open affection and love he sees between Russ and Stephen is a jarring change. He hopes to be able to have a love like that one day and sets out to find a job and make a life for himself on his own.
Jeremy is 36 and was left physically and emotionally scarred from a serious car accident 15 years ago. He still hasn’t fully recovered and suffers from daily pain and depression that at times makes him he wish he hadn’t survived. Working as a manager of a sporting goods store, he has cut himself off from the rest of the world. His few attempts at sex and dating since the accident have been disasters between his physical pain and his scars. As his depression worsens his doctors urge him to get out and socialize and make friends.
When Jeremy meets Evan at a party, he is instantly attracted. As they talk he understands Evan’s loneliness and low self-esteem. Jeremy decides to be the friend Evan needs, but the chemistry and attraction that goes both ways makes it difficult to keep things platonic. Evan has had no real exposure to other gay men and the attention he receives from the gorgeous Jeremy has him fighting his feelings. He knows Jeremy is offering nothing more than friendship, but can’t help hoping for more, especially with the way Jeremy flirts. As they spend more time together, their attraction gets harder to avoid and no matter how many times Jeremy tries to tell himself how bad he would be for Evan, the thought of him with anyone else is an even worse possible outcome.
Connection, is a very fitting title since the heart of the story really is about Evan and Jeremy each trying to form some sort of a connection. As opposite as they are in age, experience and their outlooks on life, they both are similar in their loneliness, their families’ rejection and not seeing themselves for who they really are and what they have to offer. Brigham Vaughn does a good job of allowing the reader to really get to know both Evan and Jeremy as individuals. It’s a very slow burn and the two men don’t even really meet until halfway through the story, but by then you want nothing more than for both of them to find some comfort and happiness in their lives.
Evan is such a sweet soul, you’ll want to wrap him up in your arms and tell him everything will work out. Evan wants to experience everything with Jeremy, but he is willing to take what he can get and is happy to finally have a friend who he can be himself with. His innocence and hopefulness is such a stark contrast to Jeremy. Your heart will break at Jeremy’s despair and feelings of worthlessness, but you’ll also want to scream at him to give Evan a chance.
Even though this is a spin-off of the Equals series, it stands alone from that. Readers who have finished that series will recognize both Evan and Jeremy, and the timeline of the two series overlaps a bit. You do need to go into this book knowing that it is only part one of the couple’s storyline and you will need to read the second book to get the complete story. The final scene leaves off with a hopefulness for the two, but the knowledge that it won’t be easy and, if you’re like me, it will leave you wanting the next part immediately.
Meet Brigham Vaughn
Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.