Everything about this story was incredibly cute and so so sweet and absolutely endearing. The characters were great, the side characters made me smile, the writing flowed beautifully, the setting was lovely (especially with my personal love of all things publishing), and I really just have no faults with it at all.When Ruben smiled, downright euphoric, Duncan knew without a shadow of a doubt he wanted and needed to see this young man’s happiness for the rest of his life. And to be the cause of it, well, that was even better.
The way Duncan and Ruben’s relationship progressed felt real, never too slow and most importantly never too fast. While the characters feel an instant attraction to each other, the connection they feel allows them to go with the flow at an easy pace that is never rushed; something which is perfect since with Ruben’s phobia, Duncan’s constant understanding and unwavering support is exactly what Ruben needs. The sex was incredibly hot, but I loved how it wasn’t just sex but instead a strengthening of the connection between Duncan and Ruben and their deepening trust in each other as Ruben allows himself to steadily become more confident with Duncan ready to catch him at any moment, always thinking of his lover and his needs, placing Ruben’s wellbeing first and foremost at all times.
I especially liked how Laine was realistic about Ruben’s condition: how despite the positivity, there is always the possibility of regression and negativity and that a building confidence and trusty support system does not equal a cure for the problem or promise that everything will be perfect, strictly positive, or without fault or incapable of failure from that point onward. Laine is definitely an author I will be checking out in the future and her story Haunted Heart in particular is one I highly recommend.