Why I read this book: After being lucky enough to read and review the first two books for the current blog tour, I was excited to jump back into Jack and Andrew’s world and find out how their journey would end. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
$100 Amazon giftcard giveaway at the end of this review.
When he was a kid, Jack Miller thought life would be a certain way, then he figured out he liked boys and not girls, changing the course of his future. Jack has spent the last few years learning that life doesn’t always give you what you expect, in both good and bad ways.
Andrew’s gone missing and Jack’s parents have split. He’s made it through high school, but the future is nothing without Andrew. To be complete, Jack knows he needs to find Andrew and bring him home. But Andrew has disappeared.
Lost doesn’t even begin to describe how Andrew Collins feels. Homeless and destitute, he’s ready to end it all. Thinking that Jack is dead, Andrew returns to Sweet to end his life on Jack’s grave. Instead, he finds lies were told that drove him to a path of destruction.
After not seeing each other for almost a year, Jack and Andrew come together, but their problems don’t end there. They must work hard to make it to their big fat Southern gay wedding or risk losing it all.
Warning: This book contains dubious content.
My Review: After being angry at characters in the first two books and feeling frustrated for the things Jack and Andrew have endured, I was very happy with the conclusion of their story in this book. There was nothing that didn’t please me about this book. That’s not to say that it was perfect for the characters through the whole book, but it was the last of their major struggles. From the cover, to the title, to the last chapter of this book, it was a perfect story.
Andrew and Jack are still apart at the beginning of this book, and I found a new appreciation for Andrew. He showed strength that I hadn’t seen before, as well as human weaknesses of his state in life. It was heartbreaking at first to see the boys struggle to find each other and themselves. When they finally reunited, I was ecstatic. It seemed like all the wrongs that happened to these boys were being made right.
Things turned around for many of the secondary characters as well. Dianne, Jack’s mom, found strength. Billy, Jack’s youngest brother found freedom to be who he was. Andrew’s parents found consequences for their actions, and there was a surprising turnaround for one character. Most everyone learned a little bit more about what true love really is, thanks to Andrew and Jack.
Andrew’s old house loomed in front of Jack. Months had slid past since he’d last seen Andrew or heard anything about him. That night was still fresh in his mind, but the memories were starting to fade, leaving him aching to hold Andrew once more. Where had his boyfriend gone?
Spring break gave him the time to investigate so he’d driven back to Sweet, determined to find a trail and follow it. He still hadn’t dropped by his father’s house, the place he used to think of as home. It would be too weird to go there and have to see his father.
He shivered just thinking about the hell he’d been through. Months had passed since his mother rescued him from that god-awful place. Hamilton and Gartner were in jail as they should be. It wasn’t just the terrible treatment Jack had received that had placed them there either. An investigation by police and the FBI uncovered years of abuses, thefts, tax evasion, and a long list of other crimes that put both men, along with almost all of the other workers from that camp, away for a long time.
At one point, he’d thought he would have to testify, but the evidence against the camp workers was so huge they each took a plea bargain. They probably would have received more jail time if they’d gone to court, but Jack was relieved he could put that period of his life behind him and move on. When he’d received the news two weeks ago from the district attorney, he’d cried. His mom had been happy too. She told him later that she’d been afraid for him.
Football had fallen into place after he got up the nerve to place a call. At first he’d been scared to talk to the coach at Auburn. Switching schools like he had wasn’t a mark in his favor. The coach had been very understanding when Jack told him a bit of what had happened. Jack explained that his mother had moved them to Alabama, and that he’d had no choice in the matter. A few days after the call, Jack was offered a scholarship. It wasn’t a full ride, but it was close. Another scholarship he received for good grades would cover the rest of his expenses as long as he lived lean.
Going to a new school was tough. New Life had matured him, but not in the way they’d intended. Being a prisoner at the camp had forced him to lose the last of his innocence. He saw the world differently now. No longer a child, he wanted his freedom, but at school they still considered him to be a kid. Add to the fact that he was new, and the experience was awful. The other students didn’t know what to make of him. They ignored him or made fun of him. He wasn’t popular and no one seemed to want to give him a chance. They didn’t even know that his parents were divorcing, and that he’d been through hell. He could only imagine the teasing if they found out the truth. If college and football weren’t important to him, he would have dropped out.
With only nine weeks left in high school, he needed to find Andrew. It’s why he’d taken off on Friday afternoon only minutes after the final bell rang before spring break. He’d driven the three and a half hours without stopping, arriving in Sweet about an hour before the sun set.
Driving down the streets of Sweet was odd. There were so many memories, some good, some bad. Every bit of the life he remembered had been spent in Sweet. So many things had happened here, but it was the memories of him and Andrew that were the strongest.
When he pulled up at Andrew’s house, he’d hoped to find some sign that Andrew’s parents were still around, but it looked like they were gone. Leaves were scattered across the walk and the grass had begun to grow thick, looking scraggly under the pine and oak trees. Weeds had sprung up, giving the lot an unkempt feel.
Jack had been sitting in his truck at the curb across the street for almost ten minutes. The cab of his truck had grown warm and a sheen of sweat had formed on his skin. When he opened the door a cool breeze raked across his body, chilling him. He stared at the house, thinking about the last time he’d seen Andrew. That night had been so sweet and amazing. They’d spent hours under the stars, holding each other tight as they made love. If only he could go back to that day, he’d take Andrew away, never returning to their parents’ houses. They’d get lost somewhere in America and make a home of their own. Andrew had been right; they didn’t need nice things, only each other.
Jack made his way up the walk to the front door. He knocked wanting to make sure the place was empty before he went around to the back. The street was deserted so he stood on the porch for about a minute before he knocked again, this time harder. The door remained closed and the house quiet. Jack looked in the front window then made his way around the side of the house and into the backyard, stopping to look in a side window. No one was home.
Writing is Sara York’s life. The stories fight to get out, often leaving her working on four or five books at once. She can’t help but write. Along with her writing addiction she has a coffee addiction. Some nights, the only reason she stops writing and goes to sleep is for the fresh brewed coffee in the morning. Sara enjoys writing twisted tales of passion, anger, and love with a good healthy dose of lust thrown in for fun.
Visit Sara York at her Blog or Website.
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