Review: Leaving Flowers by Debbie McGowan & Raine O'Tierney

Shy and awkward since childhood, Aidan Degas is now a man lost. His twin—Aidan’s other half, Nadia—died tragically young, leaving him with nothing to get him through his days but his job at the prestigious Grand Heights Luxury Apartments and the flowers he lays upon her grave. When Aidan is assaulted on the job by a tenant, it’s the graveyard he turns to for strength and solace.

Patrick loves being assistant groundskeeper at the sprawling cemetery where he tends graves and offers a bit of comfort to mourners. When he sees a sad young man lingering over an old grave, his curiosity is strangely piqued for reasons he doesn’t understand. He’s never done this—struck up a friendship with a mourner. But soon that friendship blossoms into a romance.

It’s not going to be easy for the pair. Aidan is so damaged, like petals crushed in an angry fist, and even with Patrick’s warm heart and Irish charm, it might not be enough to bring him back from the edge.

I'm stuck somewhere between 3.5-4 Full-O-Feelz-Hearts on this one. Overall, an enjoyable read as well as a good maiden voyage on two new to me author's ships.

I'm not a crier. I don't like it. It makes me all splotchy and... it's just not pretty, so I avoid it at all costs. Leaving Flowers can be depressing at times with how grief stricken Aidan is. It was palpable, but I didn't cry. Then again, I'm kind of a hard ass so take that how you will. 

Aidan and Paddy tell their story together with alternating POVs. If you aren't touched by Aidan in some way there is something bad wrong and you *may* need to have it checked out. He's devastated by the loss of his twin sister, Nadia. It's been 3 yrs since she died in childbirth and he can't seem to move forward. He spends countless hours at her grave and the GDP of a small country on flowers. He's working as a maintenance man at a high end apartment complex living in the equivalent of Harry Potter's room under the stairs and to add insult to injury, he's been taken advantage of by an aging, married, bored and wealthy cougar. Who took is virginity to boot! Did I find it odd that a, by all accounts, intelligent and attractive 27 yr old was still a virgin? Yes. Yes, I did. But he comes across very sheltered and maybe immature in certain ways so... maybe? I certainly empathized with him and his plight but I didn't love him as a character.

Paddy is an Irish ginger! He also works at the cemetery and did I mention he was an Irish ginger? With the accent and Guinness and freckles and blushing and he even plays the flute and sings! He also falls head over heels for Aidan in a blink. I'm sort of on the instalove fence, but at least Paddy owns it. I can respect that. He's good for Aidan, helps him face some hard truths and supports him when Aidan goes off half cocked which he does on a semi regular basis.

The story arch is engaging, a little predictable, but there's a reason clichéd storylines are clichéd because they work, they appeal. This appealed and I liked the secondary characters. The secondary storyline involving the aforementioned wealthy cougar got left open which I'm not sure what to make of other than it being anti-climatic. 

Recommend to fans of feelz.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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