Who would you become if you lost the only person who ever mattered?For twenty-six year old Dylan Hopkins, the answer is easy. He’s become no one. Memories of the happier times are all he has left as he finds himself meandering numbly through his now dull life. Though he cares about his work and family dearly, he’s yet to let himself find love again. Afraid of letting go of what he once had, Dylan chooses to keep his heart buried, where it belongs, having died a long time ago.Conner Michelson is about to change everything Dylan knows. He’s every bit the bad boy persona – tatted up, ex-MMA fighter, but after an injury leaves him unable to fight, he has to rethink his goals. Having just opened his own gym, Conner can cross his first major life accomplishment off his very short list. Next up: find a man he can settle down with and build a family. Seems simple enough – a dream most people have, but when he meets Dylan, his carefree, easy-going life is thrown into a tailspin.Determined to keep Dylan in his life, Conner vows to resurrect Dylan’s long ago buried heart and let love live once more.
This review is a tough one for me to write….I was an emotional mess reading this and here is why. Let Love Live by Melissa Collins is based on characters that we met in her first couple of books…..a storyline that we already had a basis for, one that made me sad even a year ago when I first read her stories. While I read I sent Melissa pictures of myself crying uncontrollably, the emotions I felt were just so strong. So without me saying anything else, this story is now a MUST READ for this Schmexy Girl and will be added to the top of my list :)
Part 1 Shane and Dylan
Two young boys, best friends their whole lives. As they grow up they both struggle with internal feelings that they don’t understand, neither one voicing it to the other. Dylan knows that he is gay and admits it to himself when Shane is still so very unsure, taking extra precautions to protect himself…
“I was too afraid to let my guard down. Too afraid to numb the pain. Because if the pain was numbed, then what else would I have.”
He couldn’t hide forever….Shane and Dylan have this connection that most couples would kill for. They are friends, teammates, and in my opinion…soul mates.
As they explore their new world, one where they can be themselves with each other…
“We’re still us. Just more honest now.”
…they still struggle to keep who they are hidden from those that they love.
As we continue to learn of their relationship you can see how much they really do mean to each other. Their moments of pleasure are so much more, the emotional connection is evident at every turn. Shane and Dylan are both passionate men and they are not afraid to show that to one another, this is something I LOVE about them, it makes them so easy to like and fall in love with
“I’ve never been happier than when I’m with you. You’ve given me a piece of myself I didn’t even know was there. I knew it existed, but I just didn’t know how to let it. I can’t ever repay that. But I can give you me. I can give you all of me because that’s all I have.”
8 years later…Part 2 Dylan & Conner
Dylan is now a grown man, successful in his field working with The Bridge (a Gay Straight Alliance counseling center). He has reconnected with Reid (Shane’s brother) who is now like family to him. Dylan has been struggling with his feelings or love, loss, and guilt for eight years now. I soooooooo wanted him to be happy, he is such a great guy, he deserves it.
“Lifting the frame from the shelf feels as if I’m hefting a thousand pounds. The guilt over what I said to him, what I’ll never be able to take back, over what he did before I could help him – all of those things weigh on me.”
I was inwardly giggling when he first meets Conner, former MMA fighter who is clearly attracted to him from the get go…
“It’s a good thing I’m not wearing workout shorts because nothing screams ‘I’m a professional’ like sporting wood at the front desk of your own gym.”
Dylan acts like an ass….yes an ass. He clearly likes Conner yet pushes him away or ignores what is happening between them. I wanted to grab him and shake him and scream about how he needs to go for it!! At least Conner knew what was up…
“It’s impossible to deny the attraction between us. From the moment I met him, even in passing a week ago, I haven’t been able to shake him. I haven’t wanted to shake him.”
I found Conner to be an exciting and loveable character. He is funny and to the point. He isn’t ashamed of who he is and he doesn’t try to hide it in any way shape or form. It takes a lot for him to open up but I loved how he seemed so at ease around Dylan, who finally starts coming around.
“A rush of excitement catches me off guard. There’s something about being around Conner that challenges me, makes me feel alive, turns me on.”
This relationship is so different from Dylan and Shane, but it’s special on another level. I love how Dylan and Conner give themselves over to each other, letting the other in like they never have before. It was sweet, and honest….the kindness and love poured out of these two.
“His hand snakes up around my neck, pulling me in for a wildly passionate kiss. I’m no mind reader, but this kiss tells me everything I need to know. He wants to get lost, to feel something, and he wants me to be the one to give it to him.”
Watching the development of characters and the story line in this book was certainly something special. I feel like there is sooooo much more for me to say and to talk about because, well, I NEED to. I have already rambled on long enough but I encourage you to read this book…..you will NOT be disappointed. Another job well done Melissa Collins….I LOVE YOUR FACE <3
Read Prologue over at Melissa’s Blog (CLICK HERE)
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