After a tumultuous final year of high school, Peter Mandel needs a break. It's the summer of 1991, and his secret relationship with his ‘best friend’ Adam Algedi is put on hold as Adam goes away to Italy for the summer. On the cusp of adulthood, Peter has a couple of months to explore who he is without Adam at his side.
Enter Daniel McPeak, a slightly older, out, responsible college guy with a posse of gay friends and an attraction for Peter. Drawn into the brave new world of the local gay club, Peter embarks on a whirlwind of experiences—good and bad—which culminate in a hotel room where he has to make the ultimate choice.
But Adam will come back eventually, and there are promises that have to be kept. As autumn draws near and college awaits, can Peter break free of the binds of twisted first love? And what exactly is Daniel's role in his life - a brief temptation, or something more?
Join Peter in the second book of this four-part coming of age series as he struggles to love and be loved, and grow into a gay man worthy of his own respect.
I have to admit to some reluctance to starting this book, mainly because I remembered how complicated the relationships were from the first book in the series. It's not a simple read. The characters are complex, not all good, not all bad. I know that this is something I love in my reading but sometimes I just want an easy read. That said, when I actually started reading I was once again hooked.
Peter is facing a summer without Adam, and we see how he starts to deal with life without Adam. We see him grow into himself and his confidence. Anyone who read the first book can't help but have some dislike for Adam and want to see Peter without the blinding light of his best friend/lover by his side. It's interesting to watch. It's interesting to see him venture out on his own, to learn his own self beyond Adam. He still looks t life through the lens of his camera, though he is starting look at it without that barrier at times too. I truly liked the Peter we saw emerge in this book. Not all his decisions were great - in fact, some were downright stupid - but they were his decisions, made for his reasons, good or bad.
I like that this is set in the 90's, this was my era, I must be of a similar age to Peter and I am finding revisiting this time particularly interesting. Especially with regards to attitudes towards homosexuality. For personal reasons it has made me reflect back on that time, a time which feels all too recent to me, yet in many ways also seems a lifetime ago. For this reason I feel I understand Peter and Adam better. It helps me know where Adam is coming from, even if I don't always particularly like him.
This is a great second part to this series and I am looking forward to reading the next part. I'm enjoying seeing how these characters develop and grow - and I can't wait for the HEA promised at the end of the series!!
For more information see Goodreads.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.