My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Abused horrifically as a boy, Nick Mathers has come to terms with his existence as a man. Mostly. Other days life seems a little much. Especially when Nick knows he’ll always be alone.
On those days his thoughts turn black. He walks the Norfolk coast and considers the frigid embrace of the waves. And then, one stormy night, he finds someone who’s tasted just that. The beautiful stranger on the beach is near death, and Nick rushes him home to slowly nurse back to health. As he does, he finds a love unlike any other. Owen Butler’s body is as warm as the sea was cold, his heart as big as an ocean. And Owen is a man who swears to repay the favor. Nick can yet be saved from himself, and he will see that he is indeed a man…
So what did I think?
When Nick rescues Owen, the man he finds washed up on the beach, he doesn’t realise that he has saved the man who will end up saving him. Nick is a broken man, haunted by the horrors of his childhood. He has fears and nightmares and even after years of therapy and with the love of his adopted father, has yet to find peace.
“He’ll be all right, Socks,” he whispered. “He has you and me and Don. We’ll get him right. Damn man won’t stand a chance against a force like us.”
Nick is used to being on his own. The one and only time he trusted anyone enough to let them in, he found himself the victim of further abuse.
“I know I push you away. I’m not used to having anyone knowing about me still accepting me for what I am. Sometimes you might just have to fight for it. Please fight for me, Owen.” His voice trembled.
Nick is lucky to have found Owen, someone who can see past the scars to the man within but also sees the scars as a sign of the strong man Nick is.
The scars on his body made him even more beautiful in Owen’s eyes. They were badges of survival and perseverance, emblems of the man’s courage and his past.
Owen has had his own share of heartache and Nick gives him a second chance at life and love.
This story has it’s dark beginning and Nick’s tale of childhood abuse may upset some – it is upsetting but I believe handled well – and the issues of self harm and suicide may not make easy or comfortable reading for some. It is emotional, heartbreaking and absorbing, showing both the darker side of life but also showing that where there is love there is hope.
To find out more about Susan Mac Nicol and her books visit her website or check out my other reviews.
A copy of this book was provided by the author in return for my honest review.