Erryn reviews ‘Cravings of the Heart (Trials of Fear Book 6)’ by Nicky James. This book was released by the author on April 25, 2019, and is 302 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Adam Gold. It was released on May 17, 2022, and is 12 hrs and 1 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I’m loving this series.
A relationship with his brother’s best friend had only ever been a dream.
A chance reunion with his brother’s childhood best friend leaves Arden hungry for attention. He’s always loved Iggy, despite their vast age difference, but he didn’t know Iggy was gay until now. His family wouldn’t approve. His brother wouldn’t approve. Plus, Arden isn’t in a position to have a relationship.
Arden’s phobia is slowly killing him and consuming his life, and he doesn’t see a way out. He’s desperate to break free, but every day is a losing battle. It would be an impossible thing to hide, and when Iggy finds out the truth, could he love him the same, or will he decide Arden is too much to handle?
Cravings of the Heart is a hurt-comfort brother’s-best-friend age-gap MM romance with moderate angst. It is part of the Trials of Fear series but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone.
Buy Links: Audible | Amazon | Add to Goodreads
To read my review of Book 1, Owl’s Slumber, click here.
To read my review of Book 2, Shades of Darkness, click here.
To read my review of Book 3, Touch of Love, click here.
To read my review of Book 4, Fearless, click here.
To read my review of Book 5, Lost in a Moment, click here.
Phobia: an extreme or irrational fear or an aversion to something
Cibophobia: a fear of food
As always, Nicky James took me down a dark road with this Trials of Fear book. She often chooses phobias I’ve never heard of. Like cibophobia. The fear of food. I’m like…how can you be afraid of that which you require? I mean, I suppose you can go without touch or light. Brutal, but doable. But food? I’m like, uh, that sounds pretty awful. To be clear – I love food. Maybe even a little too much.
So I was intrigued by Arden. He’s feisty. He’s artistic. He’s talented.
He also starts the book by having a fainting spell brought on by lack of eating. He manages to notice the cute paramedic, but it’s only when he hears the guy’s name that the memories come flooding back. Iggy was his brother’s best friend when they were growing up. There’s almost ten years between Arden and his brother. His brother always considered him a nuisance, while Iggy was far more tolerant. Arden hasn’t heard about Iggy for years. The reason? Arden’s family is rampantly homophobic and cut Iggy out of their lives completely when he came out.
The problem? Arden came out last year. Oh, to say it didn’t go over well would be an understatement. His family is constantly trying to pray away the gay. If Arden could get out, he probably would. But he’s in college and his part-time job in a bridal shop is not enough to cover all his expenses. So he lives at home with his massive religious family (and when I say massive, I’m not kidding – even I had trouble keeping track of all the kids).
Now, it’s clear Arden has endured tragedy. The death of a beloved twin sister devastated him. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear how that incident has become entwined with his perception of food and how things have steadily declined since Ivory’s death. The family assumes Arden’s just being difficult and if he’d just eat, he’d be fine. But Arden is far from fine. He needs professional help – not just the religious counselor his family offers up.
Iggy sees this. He sees beyond the façade Arden puts up. He sees the vulnerable young man who’s suffering. And, the more time he spends with Arden, the more the attraction grows. Arden’s always had a crush on Iggy, and Iggy’s always viewed Arden through the lens of younger brother to his best friend. When Arden pushes Iggy to see him as more, it’s a slow process.
I love the slow burn aspect of this romance. Arden’s health is precarious and Iggy’s aware of that – even if he can’t identify the exact problem. When they do finally progress in the bedroom, it’s a turning point. And not for the better. The men are left to decide if they can risk everything to get what they want. Throw in Arden’s illness and his bigoted parents and I wondered if he would survive.
Alas, this is a romance and I got my happy ending. There is one more book in this amazing series and I’ll be so disappointed when it ends. Oh, and I liked the cameos of other characters popping in. Hello, Ireland, I see you. Glad to see you’re having more good days than bad.
Finally, I can’t end this review without mentioning the amazing Adam Gold. His performance was stellar. I especially loathed Arden’s dad and I know that’s because of the choice Adam made. I wanted to slug the guy – as I suspect Nicky intended. I wanted to wrap Arden in a huge hug. Also, as the author planned. Anyway, can’t wait for the next book.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Facebook | Twitter: @NicoleJames1978 | Goodreads
I live in the small town of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada and I am a mother to a wonderful teenage boy (didn’t think those words could be typed together…surprise) and wife to a truly supportive and understanding husband, who thankfully doesn’t think I’m crazy.
I have always had two profound dreams in life. To fall back hundreds of years in time and live in a simpler world, not bogged down by technology and to write novels. Since only one of these was a possibility I decided to make the other come alive on paper.
I write mm romance novels that take place in fantastical medieval-type settings and love to use the challenges of the times to give my stories and characters life.
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