The Worst Bad Thing by J.E. Birk
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on March 23, 2016
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)
When Tate O’Reilly meets Gabriel Carillo on a stopover in Iceland, he’s thrown for a loop. Tate is on a European vacation right out of many people’s dreams: he’s continuing on to see London and Paris–and all the major sites therein. But this vacation is anything but a dream for Tate. This vacation isn’t for him. In fact, it’s not a vacation at all.
But Gabriel keeps popping up. It turns out he’s headed to London too. And he’s definitely interested in spending more time with Tate. While being with Gabriel gives Tate some flashes of hope, of what could be, Tate knows better. When Gabriel finds out who he is and what he’s done, there’s no chance at a future. Right? Tate is convinced there is no chance for redemption. But if there is, Gabriel will need to help him see it before it’s too late.
I honestly had no real idea what to expect when I picked up this book. J.E. Birk is a new author to me. And the blurb raised more questions than it answered (sorry if my cryptic summary above does the same thing). And much like climbing into the hot springs that Tate and Gabriel visit early on in the books, I felt like I was just kind of dipping my toes in first as I started reading. But it didn’t take long before I was deep in the thick of this gripping story.
Not only are the characters great and their interactions written very well, there are the questions that nag at you. What exactly did Tate do? Who is this mysterious Gabriel fellow? Why is Gabriel in London? What is the real motivation for Tate’s European trip? All is answered in good time, and the answers might just surprise you in more ways than one.
I definitely recommend this book. And I can also say I will be seeking out more from this author when I get a chance to do so.