Updated July 2021. Because I read this at least once a year.
A ring of braided grass. A promise. Ten years of separation.
And memories of an innocent love with the power to last through time.
When Luca Ward was five years old, he swore he would love Imre Claybourne forever. Years later, that promise holds true—and when Luca finds himself shipped off to Imre’s North Yorkshire goat farm in disgrace, long-buried feelings flare back to life when he finds, in Imre, the same patiently stoic gentle giant he’d loved as a boy. The lines around Imre’s eyes may be deeper, the once-black night of his hair silvered to steel and stone…but he’s still the same slow-moving mountain of a man whose quiet-spoken warmth, gentle hands, and deep ties to his Roma heritage have always, to Luca, meant home.
Imre is more than twice Luca’s age.
And Luca’s father’s best friend.
Yet if Imre is everything Luca remembered, for Imre this hot-eyed, fey young man is nothing of the boy he knew. Gone is the child, replaced by a vivid man whose fettered spirit is spinning, searching for north, his heart a thing of wild sweet pure emotion that draws Imre into the compelling fire of Luca’s frustrated passions. That fragile heart means everything to Imre—and he’ll do anything to protect it.
Even if it means distancing himself, when the years between them are a chasm Imre doesn’t know how to cross.
But can he resist the allure in cat-green eyes when Luca places his trembling heart in Imre’s hands…and begs for his love, over and over again?
Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating perspectives of Luca & Imre by chapter.
First. This cover! Gorgeous!
This stand alone was a loooong book – but Imre & Luca were worth it. Cole McCade weaves a beautiful story with so much detail that I’m fully immersed in this world. At first, it feels a little daunting, perhaps overwhelming, and I’m worried that I’m about to be drowned by someone who is just dumping words on the page. But there’s purpose and meaning and heart to his prose. The farm almost becomes it’s own character. I feel like I’m living at Lohere (and frankly never want to leave).
I really enjoy age gap romance, however I admit to being a little worried with this one. Imre being a family friend and knowing Luca since he was 5. A twenty six year age difference. However, I think by giving the characters 10 years without seeing each other and by having them spend months together learning who they are as adults, McCade removed anything that could have felt creepy about it. Luca, while young, turns 20 and is a full grown adult.
There’s definitely a slow burn here. When Imre & Luca finally come together it’s absolutely beautiful. Not without troubles. There was some angst and I found myself in tears at a few points, however it was a necessary emotional maturing and miscommunications that made sense for the characters. Lovely HEA and I’m a big fan of the epilogue.
About the author:
Slender. Angry. (Part) Asian.
Yeah, that about sums me up.
Hi. I’m Xen. X. Cole. Whatever you want to call me; both are true, and both are lies. My pen names are multitudes, my nicknames legion. Tall, bi/queer, introverted author of a brown-ish persuasion made up of various flavors of Black, Asian, and Native American. I’m cuter than Hello Kitty, more bitter than the blackest coffee, and able to trip over cats in a single half-asleep lurch; I’m what happens when a Broody Antihero and a Manic Pixie Dream Boy fight to the death, and someone builds a person from the scraps left behind. Beardless, I look like the uke in every yaoi manga in existence; bearded or not, I sound like Barry White. About half my time is spent as a corporate writer, and the other half riding a train of WTFery that sometimes results in a finished book. Romance, erotica, sci-fi, horror, paranormal; LGBTQIA and cishet; diverse settings and diverse characters from a diverse author.
You can connect with Cole McCade here:
My Favorite Quotes
Some days he felt like his heart was a bird with clipped wings, and flying was just a memory it was terrified of forgetting. – Over and Over Again by @thisblackmagic #MM #Romance #AgeGap #BestFriendsSon #FathersBestFriend #FarmerTweet
Luca wished…he just…wished he knew his place in the world with the kind of certainty Imre had. – Over and Over Again by @thisblackmagic #MM #Romance #AgeGap #BestFriendsSon #FathersBestFriend #FarmerTweet
I’m afraid you don’t see me. – Over and Over Again by @thisblackmagic #MM #Romance #AgeGap #BestFriendsSon #FathersBestFriend #FarmerTweet
He’d never been looked at in such a way before—as if he was something to be devoured, to be worshiped, to be loved, to be defiled. – Over and Over Again by @thisblackmagic #MM #Romance #AgeGap #BestFriendsSon #FathersBestFriend #FarmerTweet
Because love like this can devour all reason, all sense. – Over and Over Again by @thisblackmagic #MM #Romance #AgeGap #BestFriendsSon #FathersBestFriend #FarmerTweet
I’m only me when I’m with you, and when I’m with you I’m everything I want to be. – Over and Over Again by @thisblackmagic #MM #Romance #AgeGap #BestFriendsSon #FathersBestFriend #FarmerTweet