You won’t be able to put this one down! I absolutely loved it. There is no black-and-white in this story, and the author definitely pushes buttons and crosses lines. Austin and Peter’s emotional lives and power balances become entangled almost at once and draw in those around them as well, creating a fast-paced, frenetic, and almost feverish plot. There’s barely a moment to catch your breath before it’s onto the next crisis, the next plot twist or revelation.
I was admittedly frustrated at the beginning of this book, during Austin’s “but I’m not gay” phase. I have a definite preference for characters that are wholly, or almost wholly, accepting of their sexuality- whatever that may be- and the issue of being “gay” is just, well, not an issue. But I carried on with the story, and came to accept that Austin’s traumatic experiences as a teenager have affected his sexuality to the extent that he’s avoided any meaningful relationships with men- even friendships. Austin’s personal revelations are about more than just being “gay”, and indeed that becomes much less important as his journey goes on. That journey is more about accepting that his past traumas have shaped his life in ways he wouldn’t have thought possible.