Review: Crazy Love by Mel Bossa

Billy spends his evenings dreaming of love and excitement. His roommate Francis wonders why Billy would waste his time fantasizing about a straight mechanic he works with who won't even look his way.

But Xavier isn't straight, he's bisexual. And he's been stealing looks at Billy without getting caught. Billy's blue eyes make him feel proud, something he hasn't felt ever since his father left him to fend for himself. Part Mohawk, Xavier deals with racism both at work and at home, and is planning to hit the road and never return.

From their first kiss, the attraction between Billy and Xavier is undeniable, setting off a chain of events. Soon they're running off together, determine to start a new life in Mexico. But the open road, like their crazy love, is new, exciting, and at times ... dangerous.

This book! Gah. It was so sweet and I just hugged it out with my Nook because it was that kind of book.

Oh, Xavier,” Billy said, “I know what I’m doing. I’m not
scared at all. I just wanna be in this car, with you. Is that crazy?”

“No…I feel the same way.”

“Then let’s go. Let’s just drive.”

Billy Hart and Xavier Delisle meet when Billy is assigned to take Howie’s Garage into the new century by going paperless. Billy does what he needs to do, getting the job done and though he’s behind the computer, he loves coming into work for this particular job because he gets to stare at the dark haired gorgeous mechanic. On Billy’s last day at the garage, he gets the nerve to not only speak to the gorgeous dark haired man but after getting his name, he asks Xavier to hang out and play pool. Billy isn’t sure of Xavier’s sexual orientation, he just knows he needs to be around this boy in any way he can.

Told in the dual POV’s of both young men, we meet them as they meet one another in the summer of 1996. Billy has left the farm life he lived with his single mother after his father passed in an accident when he was young and came to Montreal to find a better life. He picks up on computer programming easy and works his way toward a promising career. His job led him to Xavier and Billy has one hell of a strong crush on the mysterious mechanic.

Xavier, oh my poor boy you broke my heart so many times. Xavier is living with his Aunt, his mother’s sister who took him in after his father who is part Mohawk Indian left Xavier at 13 to go live on the reservation. Xavier’s Aunt is a pretty volatile and racist human being who lets all her prejudices run wild and has zero filter when it comes to her hate. I forget sometimes that while current situations let people voice their hate, 21 years ago it was so much worse. 1996 is only a few years after I graduated high school and I can still remember hearing the racial jokes around school, the words that were used to describe someone who got a good deal on a sale or what people were called you gave something to you and took it back or the name of a burn given to someone’s forearm by quickly twisting their skin. It wasn’t a good time to be different and Xavier is lost with not only his heritage as a quarter Mohawk Indian he is confused about his sexuality. At 19 years old, Xavier appreciates girls but when he meets Billy he begins to recognize that he appreciates boys as well.

He liked girls. Could be with girls. Could get married maybe. Have kids. All of it.
He could do it all.
But he didn’t want to. He didn’t want any of it.
The realization hit him like a head-on collision. It wasn’t about him being gay. Straight. Bisexual. It was about Billy.
How he felt about him. That was his truth. All he needed to know.

As Billy and Xavier begin a friendship that blossoms into more, Billy knows what he wants and while Xavier has outside forces pushing him toward dating a girl, he is torn with doing what his soul tells him is right and what he truly wants. Though when he makes up his mind to leave it all behind and head to Mexico, the one thing he can’t leave is Billy.

Let me pause for station identification and say: OMFG and Dammit, Mel Bossa! You almost broke with me with that one scene but thank goodness it was all turned around. I think I held my breath for a few pages. Good lord.

Sorry, I had to get that out.

So, the young men decide to take a chance on what they feel and hop in Xavier’s Chevy Nova and head through the night to begin their journey to Mexico. Through the miles they make a plan that when they make it to New Orleans, they can find part time jobs and stay awhile but trusting strangers throws a wrench in their plans and when they make it to New Orleans, things get a bit dark.

The title of this is Crazy Love and trust me, things get crazy with Xavier and Billy. When you fall so hard, fast and deep for someone it’s easy to get lost in them to the point of codependency and boy howdy, do these boys have it in spades. I’m not doubting their love for one another but both Xavier and Billy have issues, daddy issues for starters, and both young men are searching for where they belong. Billy is innocent, flamboyant and out and Xavier is reserved, questioning his bisexuality and struggling with is racial identity. Xavier also has a bit of a temper and Billy is quite the enabler. And yet, they both recognize all of these things but this love they have, this fierce and crazy love they have for one another that is all consuming, it’s what’s barely holding them together.

Billy, whatever happens from now on, whatever roads we take, we’ll always have this. This. The trip. New Orleans. You and me. That’s our history. Where we started.

I adored Billy. He reminds me a lot of myself at that age with his love for music and being a hopeless romantic. I remember what it felt like to find that first love, to feel those first emotions as you acknowledge that someone wants you in the same way you want them and the total fear of being lost without them but being consumed when you are with them. Love is scary and it’s not always rational but when you find a love that is worth fighting for, you fight. Billy has the fight in him and the patience it takes to be with someone as complicated as Xavier.

This was one hell of a road trip and just one hell of a trip in itself. There is such turmoil that goes inside each young man as they fight for the new love they found and simultaneously fight for their independence. They learn harsh lessons along the way but the most important one is about love and acceptance even when it seems to be nothing but crazy.

Okay, I’m going to go listen to some Van Morrison now and process my feelings.

A review copy was provided.

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