There’s This Guy, by Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
How do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?
Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.
It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued Art Deco building on the WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the artistic, sweet man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.
When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.
Trigger Warnings For:
Off Page/Memories of Abuse
I really liked this book, but I have to admit that I didn’t… couldn’t, until about the 50% mark. Around half way through things start to take a turn, but before that turn can happen I had to go through a whole hell of a lot of awful. Not awful writing, but awful story. And not that it’s bad, I mean it is, just that Jake has had a horrible life that was very difficult to read.
I can’t stress the trigger warnings enough. The book literally starts off with Jake contemplating suicide. It’s a major punch in the gut, starting a book like that. I think I get why the author chooses to dive in so hard, but I didn’t like it. Learning about Jake, about his life before he meets Dallas and makes friends with people who really care about him, is difficult to take. He hates himself, finds himself unworthy of everything, and is so depressed my heart hurt immediately for him.
But there is so much good to be found if you can get through all the tough parts. And even when things start to turn a corner, life isn’t finished being harsh on Jake. Issues with his father come to a head and it tests Jake and his new found spark of hope. And through all of this, there’s Dallas.
I love the relationship between Dallas and Jake. It’s quick to form, but not too fast. When Dallas recognizes Jake’s need for a friend, more than anything, that’s where the focus is. Of course, the attraction is always present and Dallas would like more, but being there for Jake is paramount. It’s that strong bond that makes this story work. It’s what makes the nightmare of a life Jake had, turn into the dream he’d always wished for.
There are some amazing and wonderful side characters. Celeste, Dallas’ best friend. Evancho, Jake’s boss. I did feel that the addition of Dallas’ parents, particularly his mother, felt a bit forced and not completely necessary at times. There is a stabbing that really felt unnecessary to the story as the loop isn’t closed so we never find out about any motive, who it was, nothing. Lack of closure with this made me question the need for it at all. Maybe there will be another book? I don’t know, but I do feel like there needed to be a reason. Still, all of these characters do bring something more to this tale. They bring this new family to Jake, just when he needs it.
There are also some beautiful quotes I highlighted, meaning to share. But looking back at them now, I know that doing so would take the experience away from a reader. If you pick this up, I want you to be able to see the beauty that Ford puts on the page. You need to experience the way the story goes from the darkest of dark, to the lightest of light. How it becomes something full of beauty, trust, love and friendship. It’s a lot like life, full of ups and downs, and ups again. This one just starts us off during a very down time, but it becomes something beautiful and I’m really glad I didn’t put it down.
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.
You can learn more about Rhys Ford at their website.
You can purchase There’s This Guy from:
Barnes & Noble
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.