Review: His Truth by Riley Hart

They were only kids when they met for the first time. Leo Mancini was the son of a judge. Roman Cipriani the son of a criminal. So different, yet as they shared stolen kisses and secret moments, they fell in love. One day they would run away together, have the future they deserved, because no one loved Leo like Roman did, or Roman like Leo did. But before they could make their dreams come true, their future was viciously stolen and their lives changed forever.

Roman has spent the last twelve years repressing the trauma in his past, trying to pretend it didn't exist, until even he believed his own lies.

Leo won't let himself forget what happened because he doesn't ever want to be that person again. He won't become the man his father wanted him to be or the guy who gets hurt when he lets someone in.

But in that split second when their eyes meet again, everything changes. Despite Leo's anger and Roman's denial, the connection they shared as teens is still there, too powerful to deny. Now, when their moments don't have to be stolen, they cling to what they've always craved--each other.

Roman and Leo aren't kids anymore, though--they can't lock themselves away from the world and pretend nothing exists but each other. A trauma like Roman suffered doesn't just go away, but now that Roman accepts his truth, can the two of them escape their demons before they destroy Roman and Leo a second time?

Possible triggers: violence and homophobia

What is it about adulthood that takes something so pure and over analyses it until it no longer resembles anything recogniseable. A simple truth that turns into murky swampland that no one can see the bottom of, simply by convincing yourself it isn’t your truth.

Leo and Roman had something beautiful and pure when they were in their teens. Hidden inside the lonely walls of Leo’s parents mansion, Roman and Leo could be themselves and explore their love for each other. Roman felt like he could transcend the criminal life his father laid out for him and be something more with Leo. But that all changed when a brutal event breaks something fundamental inside Roman and locks down the part of him that loves Leo.

This story was hard. I can see why the author needed time with it and waited. I’m glad she did. This wouldn’t be what it was without the attention to detail put into it after years of reviewing it to get it right. I’ve enjoyed Riley Hart’s other work, but this is something more. These men deserved the attention and care that was put into this story.

After reconnecting with Leo by chance, Roman immerses himself in the present and tries to ignore the wounds that are festering inside him from his past. Letting go of the past is one thing, but that is not what Roman is doing. Ignoring problems never works for long, and this is something that Roman is starting to find out, even if he appears unaware at times. It isn’t until a triggering event occurs, that Roman finally sees how damaged he is.

I loved these two men. They had mountains to climb to be able to overcome all the past pain they felt. When Roman jumped in and immersed himself in Leo, I could see the trainwreck coming. Even Leo could see it, but had no clue what he was doing, or how it would impact both of them.

I felt their connection throughout the story, even when they were holding back from each other. Sometimes it was overwhelming, and sometimes it simmered just out of reach. The one thing I didn’t really see was Leo’s support crew. He seemed to hold himself back from everyone, even though he was extremely social and popular. I felt like he didn’t have someone firmly in his corner to support him while he supported Roman. This made me sad for him and really showed how much the past messed him up too.

This will be a re-read for me. There’s something comforting about Hart’s writing style, even while her men aren’t coping. It’s familiar, but new, and I absolutely love it. This is a hurt/comfort and second chance story. There is a lot to unpack in it, and I sat and reflected on a lot while reading. Part of the experience was sitting with my feelings and aching for them. It felt real and honest, even when they were lying to each other and themselves, about what they were doing.

I rated this on how I felt after the story, not necessarily the complete execution of it. There were some parts I picked at in my mind, and may have rated down for, if it wasn’t for the overall experience of reading this.

I would recommend this for all readers who enjoy hurt/comfort stories. There are some really hard parts, and some flashbacks to trauma. The author has content warnings at the beginning, so make sure you’re okay before diving in with these men.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion

No comments:

Post a Comment