This is, without a doubt, my favourite story in the series so far. While I loved the earlier books, this one stole my heart. Sometimes life throws us such curve balls that we retreat and allow fear to rule our (inter)actions. This is the story of two men finding each other and as a result finding the courage to face their fears, share them, and help each other overcome them.
Aaron *sighs*. From the moment he is introduced to the reader it is clear this man has issues, or maybe I should say ISSUES. He is slow in revealing exactly what is going on with him, both to the reader and to Trent, but when he does his story will break your heart, just as it broke mine. And then, when you realise Aaron’s history wasn’t a product of the author’s amazing imagination but based on fact…well, let’s just say it gives the story a level of poignancy that left me deeply touched and had me thinking about Aaron for days. Have a look at the dedication:
For the real Aaron.
Thank you for letting me share your story, taking your tragedies and making them Aaron’s.
That you endured them breaks my heart.
That you have come through them to be the strong, resilient man you are today, gives me hope.
You are who you are today due to your own strength and determination, the support of those who love you, and therapy.
And yes, those two men will always be with you, along with others, but you are the stronger for that.
The first impression Trent made wasn’t anywhere near as positive, in fact, for a chapter or so I was seriously worried whether or not I’d be able to like him at all. And then I did. Because Trent has reasons for living his life the way he does, just as Aaron has his. And while Trent’s may not be as dramatic as Aaron’s they are nonetheless valid. And besides, it isn’t long before Trent shows us glimpses of the man he really is—the loving grandson, the supportive uncle, the understanding friend, and ultimately, the undemanding lover.
I love books in which characters grow, change, develop, and Aaron and Trent do exactly that as they help each other become the men they were meant to be. On their own they struggled with life, together they discover that having a past doesn’t mean facing a hopeless future. And their journey, both individually and together, from the point where fear rules their actions to the point where they trust each other and themselves enough to hope again, is a thing of wonder and beauty. The process is gradual, almost imperceptible, and all the more spectacular for it. And all through Trent and Aaron’s journey I found myself smiling, blinking back tears, laughing out loud, and wanting to hit one or two characters. To say I was emotionally engaged in the journey these two men made, would be a gross understatement.
Yes, this is my favourite Lightning Tale so far. Aaron and Trent will live in my heart for a very long time and I’m so glad that this is not the end of this particular series. I can’t wait for further glimpses of these two men in future instalments. Trust me, if you want a book that’s going to touch you deeply and will leave you uplifted and happy by the time you finish the story, you really want to read Love Me!
Of course, I now want a book about Kaden. If ever a bartender deserved a happy ending, it is him. And I wouldn’t complain if there happened to be a story about Joe in the pipeline either. Just saying