Van by Sawyer Bennett (Cold Fury #9)
Five very shiny stars for this one.
Why the shiny? Well, this is the story of two people who have kind of lost their shininess or gloss. She’s made some not so good decisions and has ended up lost in life, with her family’s disappointment ringing in her ears.
For him, he feels the weight of his family’s history. And it’s certainly not shiny. He saw others judge him as a child and found him lacking, through no fault of his own. Not only is he distrustful of opening up to others, he actually doesn’t know how. The simplest social interaction is hard work. I found him to be a heart breaker, even though he isn’t trying to be.
Van gave me the squidgies right in the middle of my chest. I rubbed my heart pretty constantly as I read. He’s a hero you want to fix, you want to wrap up in your arms or even cook roast chicken for.
Sawyer Bennett is at her cracking best when she not only tells a story but has something to say that she’s passionate about. Here she reminds us that we aren’t our parents, that we can’t judge someone by their DNA. You don’t have to walk the road your parents did, but boy does it take strength to confront that. Ms Bennett tells it so so well.
There’s also a wonderful reminder about secrecy. Of course, we all want to keep hidden our shame secret, but does that give it power? Or does keeping it secret enable you to be who you really are? If no one knows your past they can’t judge you.
As for the romance, totally there and totally unconventional. Here’s one of my favourite bits:
“That’s right. Don’t assume,” I tell her. “Ask if you’re confused. But Simone . . . you know the worst about me. You took my cock bare. I’m man enough to admit that I’ve got my feelings tied up now too. I sure as fuck don’t know what any of it means, and I’m totally out of my element here. I don’t know what we are, but you are anything but a lay to me”
Brave, ballsy and beautiful that sums Van up both book and man.