‘Edge of Living’ by H.L. Day #Audiobook #LGBT #Review #MM #Angst

Erryn reviews ‘Edge of Living’ by H.L. Day. The ebook was published October 26, 2018 and was 268 pages.The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Aldric March, released February 7, 2020 and is 8 hrs and 19 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Why I read this book:  I’m always game to try a new author.

Sometimes, death can feel like the only escape.

It’s been a year since Alex stopped living. He exists. He breathes. He pretends to be like everyone else. But, he doesn’t live. Burdened by memories, he dreams of the day when he can finally be free. Until that time comes, he keeps everybody at bay. It’s been easy so far. But he never factored in meeting a man like Austin.

Hard-working mechanic Austin has always gone for men as muscular as himself. So, it’s a mystery why he’s so bewitched by the slim, quiet man with the soulful brown eyes who works in the library. The magnetic attraction is one thing, but the protective instincts are harder to fathom. Austin’s sure though, that if he can only earn Alex’s trust, then the two of them could be perfect together.

A tentative relationship begins. But Alex’s secrets run deep. Far deeper than Austin could ever envisage. Time is ticking. Events are coming to a head, and love is never a magic cure. Oblivious to the extent of Alex’s pain, can Austin discover the truth? Or is he destined to be left alone, only able to piece together the fragments of his boyfriend’s history, once its already too late? 

Trigger warning: Please be aware that this story deals with suicidal ideation and other dark themes. If this is a subject you find uncomfortable with, then this book is not recommended. Despite this, there is a guaranteed HEA.

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My review:

This book comes with a strong trigger warning that is appropriate.  Assuming you’re comfortable with (or at least can deal with) suicidal ideation and dark themes, this book is one you should definitely listen to.

I’m struggling to come up with the right words to describe this book.  I don’t tend to read blurbs – I just jump in having no idea what to expect.  From the first scene, I was hooked.  I plowed through the book in a day and was blown away.  There were times in the book when heightened emotions were called for – dread, terror, fatigue, devastation.  Each time the author brought me right to that place, and I was immersed in the feeling.  I felt Alex’s discomfort at his overly friendly neighbour.  I rooted for Austin to find a way to break down Alex’s walls, and endured his confusion when he couldn’t.

I liked the slow courtship in this book.  Austin was a surprisingly sensitive soul who sensed Alex’s skittishness and respected the other man, never pushing.  We all should be so lucky to have an Austin in our lives.  Alex is appreciative, even befuddled.  He can’t conceive what Austin is getting out of the relationship since Alex is a shell of the man he once was.  Of course Austin doesn’t know that.  He only sees the sensitive man before him.  The man who has panic attacks and is painfully thin.  The man who sometimes detaches completely.  Yet over and over Austin is there and, eventually, Alex starts to fall in love.

Slight problem?  Alex has terminal plans, and if he stays with Austin, he’s bound to hurt the man he’s come to care for.  This is clearly set up from the beginning and my heart lurched from moment to moment.  I was guaranteed a happy ending, but that didn’t mean there were a few close calls and tears in the meantime.  Interestingly, when the Oliver plotline was resolved, I believed the book would draw to a close, but there were more than two hours left.  Two heart-wrenching hours of knowing what was coming and yet hoping something, anything, would derail Alex’s plans.

In the end, this book dragged me through the wringer, lurching from emotion to emotion.  And I loved that.  I adore books who can immerse me in the story and sustain my interest through every word.  I can’t say enough good things about the book.  If you’re looking for something emotional and powerful, this is the right book for you.

I’m always game to try a new narrator and Alric March did not disappoint.  He had distinctive voices for Austin and Alex, fitting how I pictured each man.  I also adored his British accent.  I’m a sucker for a great Brit.  Like I said, this book is definitely worth a listen and I’ll be happy to try out more books by this author.  Oh, and if H.L. were to write a follow-up book with the two unlikely characters who sort of got together, that would be alright with me.

My rating:

10/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 5/5 Stars

WebsiteFacebook  | Twitter: @HLDAY100Goodreads

H.L Day grew up in the North of England. As a child she was an avid reader, spending lots of time at the local library or escaping into the imaginary worlds created by the books she read. Her grandmother first introduced her to the genre of romance novels, as a teenager, and all the steamy sex they entailed. Naughty Grandma! Romance novels were forgotten for a while when real life got in the way: university, clubbing, work, moving to London, and more work.

When life settled down (slightly) H.L Day stumbled upon the world of m/m romance. She remained content to read other people’s books for a while, before deciding to give it a go herself.

Now, she’s a teacher by day and a writer by night. Actually, that’s not quite true—she’s a teacher by day, procrastinates about writing at night and writes in the school holidays, when she’s not continuing to procrastinate. After all, there’s books to read, places to go, people to see, the gym to visit, films to watch. So many things to do—so few hours to do it in. Every now and again, she musters enough self-discipline to actually get some words onto paper—sometimes they even make sense and are in the right order.

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