Neil was walking one night, back home, from his grief counselor’s office. It was a cold winter’s night, where one would expect to take the train home rather than walk 15 blocks in the icy wind that made you wheeze your lungs out even though you do not have such an ailment. It has been a year now and he still could not make himself take the train, even in such harsh external conditions. He was almost home and as he crossed the last street towards the stairs leading to his apartment he saw a homeless guy shivering at the base of his stairs. He looked like he was huddled beside those green bags that they issue you, when you join the military.
As he got closer to the stairs the homeless guy called out his name through the frozen air, that startled Neil and almost made him autonomously get into 'fright and flight' mode but he was bewildered by the familiar voice and instead remained steadfast in his tracks.
His eyes locked with Jeremy’s and Neil saw the dread in his eyes. Things did not end well between them, since the last time they have seen each other, but Jeremy would not have come here unless there was nowhere else for him to go. Neil gets the very iced Jeremy into his cozy apartment without any more delay.
Jeremy was a war veteran, dealing with the horrible and devastating remnants of the mental scars left by the war in the Middle East. He did not expect to be disowned by his family when he needed them the most. He made a choice to seek refuge with the only friend he knew that will not leave him destitute.
Neil found himself in similar circumstances. He was not thrown out by his family for his sexual preferences but he was shunned to silence in their presence which left him no one to turn to when he had to face grief, loss, and PTSD in the last year. He could talk to his mom about anything except this burden that he had to deal with because of their non-acceptance of his personal romantic and love relationships.
Jeremy and Neil had a rocky past, and there was a life after their past together, which led them back to each other in a rather unexpected and sudden chain of events. Could it be that that is what they need, is each other, to get through their stress, loss, and grief? Can their relationship remain platonic or are their feelings they left each other with, before, are stronger than they anticipated?
A beautiful expression of a romantic love story that made me tear a bit, towards the end. It is a feature depicting the deeper, sensitive struggles and obstacles you face as a gay person in society and that ‘society’ does not need to go as far as your own backyard. That is by far the saddest part of society when your own family does not accept you for who you are.
I would call this a modern day Mills and Boons and I am not a fan of the Mills and Boons. However, this book written for a light read did manage to conjure a depth to it that made me realize that my own open views and accepting each other for who we are, are not shared with many others out there.
On the whole, I casually enjoyed reading the book and it is a fairly good written piece work. I found some exciting, steamy scenes that made me chuckle with blushed cheeks and I caught myself peeping over the rim of the book during these times like some teenager reading the forbidden Mills and Boons of our times.