Title: His Truth
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Reviewed by Michael
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?
Whether we are aware of it or not, each and every one of us is the sum total of our life experiences as well as how we have been treated by others. These help to shape not only how we see ourselves, but also how we see the world around us. They also help to teach how to cope. This is our Truth.
But what happens when our past is so brutal and ugly that it distorts our Truth, forcing us to bury who you truly are and remake ourselves just to survive? Then, to make matters worse, our past comes back, forcing us to question literally everything we had convinced ourselves was real.
Roman Cipriani came from the wrong side of the tracks, poor, and the son of…let’s just say a very bad man. Leo Mancini seemed to lead the ideal rich kid’s life, but as is often the case, appearances can be deceiving. Secret boyfriends twelve years before, something (very bad) happened that forced Roman to walk away from Leo and completely remake himself
Twelve years later, Roman Cipriani inadvertently runs into Leo Mancini. This one, albeit brief, encounter forces Roman to completely re-examine the Truth he had deluded himself into believing about himself. He has to relearn who he really is and quite literally come out to himself. The transition isn’t smooth, bringing to the surface not only the old memories he had forced himself to suppress, but also the insecurities he thought long buried.
Through it all, there’s Leo. Poor Leo has issues of his own, though not nearly to the extent of Roman.
This is not a fluff piece. Riley Hart has put a lot of thought into this. It’s a deep, sometimes dark, sometimes painful examination of coming to terms with an incredibly ugly past and learning that sometimes we are the victims of the Truths we’ve been taught about ourselves.
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