“Holding onto the past can hurt more than letting it go.”
People say six years is long enough to mourn the death of his husband but for Ross Miller, the pain is as fresh as if it happened yesterday. He’s left his glittering Hollywood life behind, yet guilt still dogs his steps, no matter how far he runs. Trapped by his past and needing to escape his well-meaning friends, he rents a cabin in the secluded Adirondack mountains. A reclusive man moves in next door and piques Ross’s interest, but his persistent attempts at friendship are rebuffed. That doesn’t stop him because the one rule Ross Miller has always lived by is to never take no for an answer.
Novelist Arden Wainwright has given up. He can’t pretend a happiness he knows he’ll never find again. Solitary days turn into years, and he remains frozen, unable to take a breath. At his wit’s end, he retreats to the mountains, but it does little to stir his creativity. He continues to hide from life and avoids his overly nosy neighbor, who insists on planting himself at Arden’s doorstep at every turn. Making friends is the last thing Arden wants, but annoying or not, he can’t get the damn man out of his mind.
Finding peace in their isolated surroundings, the two lonely men forge an unlikely friendship where they realize they’re more alike than different and better together than apart. With Ross’s help, Arden begins to rebuild the shattered pieces of his life, while Arden gives Ross the strength to face his fears and find his way home. When love comes calling you can choose to hide from hurt, loss, and pain, but if you take a chance and open the door, you might discover that running from your heart is the last thing you’ll want to do.
This book can be read as a stand alone but you may remember Ross, Foster’s best friend from Broken Silence, Book One of the Rock Bottom series.
Oh hey, guess what? This book will make you cry. A lot. More than once. So keep tissues handy.
I don’t usually read blurbs before I read a book by an author I’ve read before. So that first chapter was a bit of a gut punch. (Cue crying I spoke about). But a time jump moves us forward 6 years when Ross is now in a cabin and still grieving. But with a mask on. He ignores the people who “knew him then” and to strangers he seems happy go lucky. Including Arden.
Arden who went through his own terrible loss 5 years ago. He is also still grieving. Quite openly. He just wants to be left alone, but Ross is the annoying mosquito who won’t leave him alone.
And so they build a slow but tenuous friendship. Arden does seem to concede fairly easily, but he is also starved for company.
As much as I like Ross and Arden, I didn’t really get a spark from them. It seemed a bit one sided with Ross. But Arden…I don’t know. It was more like he just went with it because it was safe and comfortable and Ross would never question his grief.
I enjoyed the first half more than the second by far. During the second half there were several points when the book could have easily ended. I feel like it was stretched out a bit.
The setting was stunning. I loved watching 2 dyed in the wool New Yorkers get out in nature and enjoy it so much. With none of the stereotypical “I can’t sleep when it’s so quiet” or similar.
So I enjoyed it, it made me cry and I’ll definitely recommend, but it won’t go in my reread pile.
3.5 Pieces of Eye Candy