Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.
Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.
Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.
The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?
If there’s ever a book that fits perfectly into my “tragically beautiful” bookshelf, this is it. Wow. What an emotionally charged story. A breathtaking ride that kicks off with the feelz hitting the red line from the very first chapter…and it never slows down. Easton creates a compelling tale about two broken souls who discover the immense healing power of love. Their journey is full of heart twisting and tugging but the closing pages are worth every bit of pain.
Josh is barely an adult but he was forced to grow up years before he should have. It was always just him and his mom until it was just…him. When he abruptly loses his mother, best friend and entire family the ground shatters beneath him. He’s hanging onto life by his finger tips and he’s at peace with letting go. He’s ready to fall.
His plan is coming together until an act of kindness from a stranger throws him off-balance. He has been able stay to his course only because he hasn’t allowed himself to feel anything. Frozen. Numb. Without sensation. When Mark warms him, thaws him and makes him feel again, his world tips upside down. He’s lost without a compass now. Before he had a direction but now everything has changed. Domino effects of events take him exactly where he planned to be and yet now he wishes he had been less successful. Can he change the future before it’s too late? Only time will tell.
The characters are marvelous. Both Josh and Mark have suffered greatly. They both deserve to be loved and to be happy. In case a HEA is critical for you, I’ll tell you a secret. *whispers* They get one. The secondary characters are just as incredible as our two amazing MC’s. I adored Josh’s mother and loved Mrs. Fisher to pieces. Even Mark’s unpredictable family strengthened the cast. The New Hampshire setting was vivid and brought a smile to my face. Autumn is my favorite season and it warmed my heart seeing the guys love it as much as I do.
The bond Josh and Mark forge is fierce and fast. It didn’t feel so much like instalove as it was instaright. They are perfect for one another and I’m so grateful fate brought them together that crisp fall day. Josh needs a reason to live. Mark needs a reason to fight. Their relationship is fragile at first due to the circumstances of their situation but soon they build something…something strong. It’s put to the test sooner than expected. Love is indeed powerful but is it enough? I would highly suggest you find out.
A sense of haste. I believe my copy was prior to final edits. Therefore I will disregard the polishing that was needed but…things felt slightly off here and there. Such as the drinking age (is 21 not 18 in NH) and Irish coffee for a vegan? And the cover? Why is Josh wearing a leather jacket with a brown satchel? The details didn’t seem to match up. It should also come to your attention that this story involves several triggers. Suicidal plans. PTSD. Loss of a parent. I wouldn’t allow any of these to discourage you from picking this one up, but it’s best to be forewarned.
I almost want to categorize this as YA but it’s not really…it toes the line though. Coming of age, coming out or simply coming alive…it’s magnificent to witness. It’s hard. It’s beautiful. And it’s so very much worth it. If you’re an angst addict as I am, you won’t want to miss this one.