27 Aug '13

A Nix Review – From the Ashes by Daisy Harris (3.5 Stars)

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He wanted a boyfriend. What he got was a hero.

 

Fire and Rain, Book 1

 

When an accident burns down Jesse’s apartment, he’s left broke and homeless, with a giant dog and a college schedule he can’t afford to maintain. And no family who’s willing to take him in.

 

Lucky for him, a sexy fireman offers him a place to stay. The drawback? The fireman’s big Latino family lives next door, and they don’t know their son is gay.

 

Tomas’s parents made their way in America with hard work and by accepting help when it was offered, so he won’t let Jesse drop out of school just so he can afford a place to live. Besides, Jesse’s the perfect roommate—funny, sweet and breathtakingly cute. He climbs into Tomas’s bed and tugs at his heart. Until Jesse starts pushing for more.

 

Their passion enflames their bodies but threatens to crush Tomas’s family. Tomas is willing to fight for Jesse, but after losing everything, Jesse isn’t sure he can bear to risk his one remaining possession—his heart.

 

Warning: Contains an angry older brother, judgmental best friends, a slobbering bull mastiff, and enough red-hot gay loving to make a porn star blush

FTC disclaimer: I have read a fair amount of the authors work and consider myself a fan. I was provided with this book by the author for a fair and honest review and received no payment for it.
When someone asks me to recommend a sweet M/M romance to them, I always say Daisy Harris. Even though she deals with some difficult themes, the books never feel angsty and the “love conquers all” tone of the books creates books that warm your heart. This book had the same tone and, whilst I enjoyed it, some of the background issues seemed to be resolved a little too quickly for me to be fully satisfied. Someone asked me if I would class it as NA. Yes, given my very tenuous understanding of what that genre is, I suppose I would. Jesse is of college age and, although I think Tomas is older, the themes of exploration are very much prevalent throughout the book.
I really did enjoy Jesse’s character. His transformation throughout the book changed him from a nervous man, who struggled with outwards appearance after his judgemental parents did a number on his self esteem, to a man who was comfortable with what he was and unwilling to hide it.  Jesse’s parents were the type of people that would rather see their only son homeless rather than have him live under their roof as a gay man and I loved how his relationship with Tomas made him feel more comfortable about his sexuality; it just pissed me off that Tomas’s own issues led him to treat Jesse less than stellar as he was worried that others would “see” that he was in a relationship with him. Jesse wasn’t looking for a serious relationship but that’s what they all say J
Tomas is the type of character to piss me off. A mish-mash of conflicting emotions, he really struggled with his feelings towards Jesse and I struggled with their relationship because of it. He didn’t deny that he engaged in sexual activities with men to himself but he had an incredibly unhealthy attitude to gay sex which impacted Jess directly. I knew that his family upbringing was part of his denial; I had no issue with his own denials of sexuality but I did have an issue with the situations he put Jesse in only to cause him more emotional pain. Dude, if you’re not ready to openly own your sexual preference that is a-OK, but try not to put your current squeeze in with your slightly-homophobic buddies and then fail to back him up. Of course, he had to do something slightly heroic and then make me like him again (well slightly). Was I completely sold on them as a couple by the end? No. Did I like them enough to see where this series goes? Yes.
Overall, this is a good introduction to both NA and MM. Daisy Harris does what she does best with this book and creates a sweet but sexy romance that leaves you with a case of the warm and fuzzies and a smile.


Nix

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