Content/Trigger Warnings: Loss of a loved one, grief, abandonment, homophobia, mentions of a heart stroke, alcoholism, allusions to toxic relationship, sex
If you couldn’t tell, I’ve fallen in love with Anyta Sunday’s writing and the characters she creates. Not only the characters, but how everything is beautifully woven together. I really enjoyed the first book and a half of this series so far and I’m eager to keep continuing on with this series. They’re always so charming, so fluffy, and just a really fun time. Plus, this is a self-published author and I really want to make sure I’m supporting more self published authors.
Percy Freedman has moved back to the cul-de-sac, to the only warm and welcoming home he’s every know, his Aunt’s house. Though the circumstances are far from good. Percy returns to the hollow home, after his Aunt’s passing, deciding the only way to get on with life is to the sell the home and put this all behind him as soon as possible. Though denying the grief, Percy is determined to flee as soon as possible. Only Percy’s denial of grief can’t fool his nemesis, Callaghan Glover. And even though Percy is determined to sell the house, he gets lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes. Maybe, just maybe, Percy might realize he’s always had a place to call home and it really is the grief talking.
“I want to feel everything you´re willing to give me, and I hope you´re willing to give me everything”
Callaghan has been going to college for paleontology masters or as Percy likes to call it, “Jurassic Park studies”, but recently moved back home to be with his family, after his father abandoned his mother and siblings. Cal is also Percy’s nemesis or at least according to Percy, anyway. Cal has never seen their relationship as that dynamic. Anyone in the neighborhood could tell you that Cal cares about everyone especially when it comes to Percy. So after Percy moves back home after the passing of his aunt, Cal does everything he can to show Percy how much he cares and is really there for him. But Percy in convinced that they’re only nemesis.
I loved the dynamic between Percy and Cal. It’s not only an enemies to lovers situation, but the slow burn was done to perfection. I mean, it’s a real slow burn. Up until 70% of the way through, it’s banter for days and endless subtle flirting. Percy is not only grieving the loss of his aunt, but recently got out of a bad relationship, a relationship that was trying to chain him down during his grieving. And after everything that happens with his cousin, Percy is very vulnerable and truly believes no one will every love him. So Percy really has is guard up with Cal. However, in my opinion, Cal is very obvious with how he feels about Percy, how much he cares, and I loved the everything Cal did traced back to his love for Percy. I really loved some of their moments together like the Zombie Apocalypse game. That whole entire section was so good! It was just really wonderful to see the pull that they had to one another throughout this entire book.
Now, it’s stated from the beginning that Percy is gay, but we don’t know Cal’s sexual identity until closer to the end. And I don’t want to say he’s discovering his sexual identity throughout this book because during the section where Percy and Cal are discussing their sexual orientation, Cal seems somewhat aware that he’s demi-pan. I think this is the first book I’ve read with demisexual-pansexual representation, as well. I really appreciate that the author chose to include a character like Cal especially since pansexuality and demisexuality aren’t often represented in books. I just really appreciate seeing that. Also, I loved that they had so many moments where they were vulnerable with one another, but I really appreciated that particular moment between them. It was probably one of my favorite moments shared between Cal and Percy.
“I guess we really are earth and water.”
“Because together we’re mud?”
“Together we stick.”
I also loved that the author gave us so much more outside of the romance. I loved the theme of community in this book. I loved how the neighborhood came together, not just with the Sherlock Gnomes game, but also when Percy needed help. I really loved seeing those moments. We also have found family in this book. Although, it takes Percy forever to realize he’s always welcomed in the Glover’s home. The fact they actually sit down and have dinners together made my heart so warm and full. But the theme I loved the most was the grief; how you can move on, recover from loss without entirely leaving your old life behind. I really loved that theme with my whole heart and soul. And I think many readers will appreciate that.
Overall, I think I loved this book more than I did the first book. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the first book, but I just loved this book so much. I really enjoyed my time reading this book and seeing how little things from the first book were connected to this book. I loved the main character and love interest so much in this book. I think some readers might not like this book as much as the first because this book is a true slow burn romance, but if you’re lover of slow burn romance with good banter then you’ll probably enjoy this book. I definitely love it and I picked up Gemini Keeps Capricorn right after I finished.