Tragedy brought us together, but something stronger made me want to stay.
Julian was the boy next door. My brother’s best friend, he fit with my family in ways I never could. While he and Rhett went on to play house, I left the only life I knew, desperate for a fresh start. Until everything changed.
Heartache came along, and the aftermath of my brother’s death was here to stay. I was now face to face with Julian more than I ever wanted to be.
Being around him brought up all my insecurities, forced me to deal with hard truths, and conjured up feelings I had no business entertaining. He wasn’t the man I thought I knew. He was complex and layered, and inherently beautiful in all the ways I’d never noticed. Not on another person. Not on another man. Not until him.
Rating: Narration – A; Content – B
Marley Valentine is a new-to-me author, and to be honest, this book wasn’t even on my radar until I saw it mentioned on an FB group (I can’t remember which one!) in which someone had asked for recommendations for romances that featured a widow falling for her late husband’s brother. It’s not a storyline I normally seek out, but I was intrigued enough to look up Without You on Amazon and thought I’d give it a try. About a week later, I saw the audio version on a Coming Soon list and decided that was the way to go. With two such terrific narrators as Teddy Hamilton and Tim Paige, it was a no-brainer.
For most of his childhood and adolescence Deacon Sutton felt like the wrong puzzle piece in his family, the child who never met expectations, never quite fit in and was never enough, no matter how hard he tried. This feeling was only exacerbated when his younger brother Rhett was diagnosed with leukaemia at seventeen, and Deacon became either invisible or was the target of his mother’s continual comparisons, disappointment or reminders that his brother could die, and it was up to him (Deacon) to live for him. Things at home got worse the sicker Rhett got, and Deacon couldn’t get away fast enough after high school; he moved to Seattle for college, and still lives there, running a successful automotive business with his best friend.
You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.