Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Publication Date: July 17, 2017
Length: 114 pages
Reviewed by Erin
After his partner’s death, Thomas Doyle lives a life made of work and late-night sexual encounters with unnamed bodies. It’s a life of solitude that leaves him too much time to think and regret.
Yet, despite everything, he jealously treasures it.
That’s why when Elias Byrne—who comes out of the shadows of Thomas’ nights—suddenly bursts into his everyday life with arrogance, Thomas finds himself fighting against ambivalent feelings—the need to reject the tormented Elias and the strange, inconceivable, and difficult to accept desire to join their solitudes.
A blurb that hints at hurt/comfort, an Irish setting, and an eye-catching cover had me wanting to read Elias by Erin E. Keller in the worst way. (It didn't hurt that the author's first name is Erin, either :) ) I have a real soft spot for hurt/comfort reads. There's just something about a character, or two, who overcome past pain, loss, or trauma to find their happily ever after that just really gets to me. Add in an age gap, and yeah, I'm your girl. If there are ever two characters who need some comfort and some happiness it's Elias and Thomas.
I was immediately drawn to Thomas. He's recently unexpectedly lost his husband due to a car accident. Together, they'd bought an old house they wanted to turn into a bed and breakfast, now Thomas lives in the big rambling house alone. He spends his time working as a police officer and when he's not working and the loneliness becomes too much, he frequents the local gay club for company. The sex is empty, but at least for a few moments, he can forget. His frequent panic attacks come out of nowhere but he's so used to them he's able to notice the signs when one is forthcoming. During one of these times, he meets the strange but beautiful Elias.
Elias was a very unique character. At twenty-three he's much younger than Thomas, but Elias doesn't care. He's noticed Thomas when he's come into the club and after he borderline stalks him, decides to finally approach the man he's been wanting for so long. I have to admit, Elias was a difficult character to connect to. His thought processes and speech pattern made it very hard to understand his motivations or really get beneath the surface. I felt sorry for him, sure, he's been abused both mentally and physically for a long time so he's quite damaged, but even with that, it wasn't easy to get a clear picture of him as a person.
I liked the premise of the story, but it fell just a bit short from being a knock-out for me. Keller's writing style is at times very beautiful, but at others kind of inconsistent and simple. I definitely would have liked to feel more of a connection to both Thomas and Elias, however this was a short, easy to read, and enjoyable book.
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