Author ~ Brigham Vaughn
Publisher ~ Two Peninsulas Press
Published ~ 28 January 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Evan Harris thinks his relationship with Jeremy Lewis is going well. But when Jeremy bolts, Evan is left nursing a broken heart. Jeremy loves Evan, but his inability to trust holds him back from facing his past head on and building the future he desperately wants. Evan’s patience is at the breaking point, and he struggles to decide if Jeremy deserves another chance.
Scarred by his own parents’ treatment of him, Jeremy doesn’t trust Evan’s mother’s motives when she reappears in Evan’s life after his father lands in jail. The ensuing disagreement about his concerns puts further pressure on their developing relationship.
Unless Jeremy can learn to trust and Evan can let go of past hurts, they’ll miss out on the relationship they’ve both been searching for.
The story picks up right after the end of Connection. There was a tenuous happiness and start to the relationship both men had been fighting, but with the amount of issues Jeremy struggles with, there was no expectation that there would be smooth sailing. Jeremy and Evan navigate lots of ups and downs from the moment the book opens.
What should have been the start of a new chapter for Evan and Jeremy comes quickly crashing down as the men wake up and Jeremy panics, walking out after telling Evan they need to sever all ties. Jeremy is convinced he is doing the right thing, that Evan is too young and has too much yet to experience; that Jeremy is too scarred and broken to be right for Evan.
Evan is heartbroken and devastated. Losing Jeremy’s friendship is almost more than he can bear having been alone for so much of his life. He has connected with Jeremy deeply based on their shared histories. Evan tries to move on but realizes that Jeremy is the one for him. When Jeremy finds out Evan is dating, the enormity of his feelings and the regret at letting Evan go hits him hard. He becomes determined to work things out and realizes that he’s going to need help working on his own issues of intimacy and confidence.
As the title implies, trust is a huge issue for both men. Jeremy needs to trust that Evan can decide what he wants and that when Evan tells him the scars don’t matter he means it. Evan is working on trying to trust his mother. When she calls with some startling new and plans, Evan wants to believe her, wants to trust that her motives are good. Jeremy doesn’t buy it. His family let him down and he doesn’t want Evan to be hurt when his mother does the same.
Brigham Vaughn writes emotions well. Both characters have grown in so many ways from when they first appeared. Evan is innocent and naïve when it comes to so many things, but the harsh treatment from his family and his work at the funeral home has made him seem older and wiser in other ways. Jeremy works on not seeing himself as broken, but accepting the changes resulting from his accident and moving forward as the man he is now and not dwelling on the ways he is no longer the same.
The course of their relationship flowed very realistically. There was no instant love cures all. In fact love was one of the things making everything that much harder. Jeremy works hard with his doctors and on his own and he is not always successful, but he is determined. Both men work hard to open up and keep the lines of communication open and honest.
Russ and Stephen, and their extended family, are back offering support and becoming the family Evan never had. Two adorable new side characters, Chris and Tod, have got me wondering if there might just be some more in store for the men of this series.
By the end of the story Evan and Jeremy have found family and learned how to embrace life and love. Yes they are different in so many ways, but their shared experiences are what make them so good for each other. They lighten each other up and heat up the pages. I recommend Evan and Jeremy’s story (and Russ and Stephen’s for that matter) to anyone who likes stories where the love and attraction is clearly there, but isn’t going to come easily.
Connection (Evan & Jeremy #1)
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.