I would rate the first 20-25% of this 4.75 stars. It started off extremely good, even with the need for a lot of editing. I really
loved this author's style of writing. I was absolutely glued to the page, trying to figure out the reason behind Eli's self-destructive path that has pushed him to find unlikely solace in a morally questionable (because of the age difference) affair with Daniel. Unfortunately, the rest of the story didn't live up to the great potential in the beginning and I struggled to even finish. Emma's review
pretty much says everything I also feel about how the author is better at showing the MCs falling apart instead of coming together.
A couple of things that helped take me out of the story:
1) Things became a little too contrived and convenient Daniel just happening to be there at the right place and time to come to Eli's rescue at that club. Also, Eli's father accepts Daniel's presence at the hospital all too readily for my belief. It's nice that he is understanding, but I would expect at least a little rage or anger at first at finally seeing the man his underage son has been hooking up with.
2) Eli's reason for his descent from a preacher's son into the oblivion of drugs and sex...was anti-climatic. I didn't see any other reviewers having a problem with this, so this is purely my own issue. His reason was that he found out from his mother that his real father was someone she met at a center before she married. I understand how news like that can be really distressing, especially when revealed by your dying mother. But, see, I too found out at a later age in a rather unorthodox way that I had a different father than the siblings I grew up with. And yes, that bit of news was one reason I slid into depression and made me question things for a time (and it definitely still does), but I didn't have...such an extreme lifestyle reaction the way Eli did, falling into drugs and sex. I just can't personally understand how that reason explains all his behavior...
So sadly, the rest of the book would rate a 3 stars (rounded up) for me. I actually still wouldn't discourage anyone from reading this, especially since this is only .99. Sarah Goodwin has still won a fan in me of her writing and I will definitely be checking out her other stories.