All That Glitters

All That Glitters
Author: Kate Sherwood
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Second Chance
Page Count: 206
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Read book blurb here

Liam is a successful architect in NYC, but finds himself driving the few hours back to his home town over and again, without contacting any of his friends or his first love Ben, and returning back to his empty apartment. Until the day he finally enters town and comes face to face with Ben, and finds himself with tears running down his face. Can Liam truly go home again, can Ben ever forgive Liam for cheating on him, can Liam rediscover his passion for work?

I love how Kate Sherwood develops this story, as Liam returns home more and more, staying with Ben's Uncle Calvin, working on a Habitat for Humanity house, connecting with old friends. And in the process, both he and Ben start to wonder if they have been looking at this all wrong. As young men, Ben and Liam thought because they were in love, they didn't need to work on their relationship.

When Liam cheated, their relationship ended without the realization that maybe they could have worked through it. Liam's parents decide to divorce after many years without rancor and Liam realizes that putting on a false face of happiness and contentment wasn't going to work for his parents, and it wasn't going to work for him:
"You need to live your own life, Liam. You need to do what's right for you, not what other people will think is impressive."
Ben, who is continually controlling and channeling his emotions, comes to understand that he can't hide away from everything - he needs to "feel it all, and live it all, and [he's] going to get hurt, but the times in between the hurt will be fantastic." The reconciliation between Liam and Ben unfolds slowly throughout the story, and while there is not a lot of on-page sex, the longing and the love between the two men is so beautifully done. I loved all the secondary characters Sherwood so richly develops, and perhaps my only niggle was that at times the pace of the story moved a bit too slowly. 4.5 stars for "All That Glitters."

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