Wildflowers by Suki Fleet
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on July 13, 2016
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)
Xavi hasn’t had the best luck in the love department. And as a result, he’s become a bit of a loner, keeping everyone at a distance. Why let people get close when caring only leads to hurt and heartbreak?
One person Xavi’s connected with is Sam. But Sam has his own pain. He’s sick–Xavi’s not sure with what–and he’s made one single request. Sam wants Xavi to stay with him until he’s gone. And Xavi agrees, relying on the “I don’t really care for anyone” attitude he hopes will get him through.
As the two go on a cross-country trip, however, Xavi realizes that letting Sam slip away might be harder than he imagined. And maybe with the right support, Sam might not be as intent on just giving up. But how can Xavi change Sam’s mind when he’s already made such a major decision? And can he convince Sam to trust him to be something other than what he’s presented to the world for so long?
I now know that when I pick up a Suki Fleet novel, it’s going to be one that pulls at the heartstrings. This author has an amazing ability to tell deep, emotional stories that manage to be a bit rough around the edges. These characters are far from perfect. But you root for them every step of the way, even when they’re driving you up a wall because of the decisions they’re making.
Despite the emotional nature of the story, there’s never a feeling of angst for angst’s sake, which I think we get from many romance authors (especially M/M) these days. Fleet’s storytelling is unique in that regard and very refreshing.
Foxes by Suki Fleet
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on February 8, 2016
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)
Danny finds it difficult to interact with other people. A street kid who is great with technology–he can fix almost anything–most people avoid him. So becoming friends with Dashiel was quite the blessing. But Dashiel’s murder left Danny all alone once again. So he’s made it his mission to find Dashiel’s murderer. He goes out on the street each night to take notes on the guys he sees–looking for the sharks who prey on vulnerable young men.
When Danny meets Mickey, a young American hustler, he feels an unexplained urge to protect his new friend. In some ways, it reminds him of the way Dashiel always looked out for him. He knows Danny is in danger, though he’s not sure from what. As the two get closer, Danny confronts things about himself that challenge him. And he finds that to help Mickey, he may have to reach beyond the world he’s created for himself. It will be uncomfortable, but it might just be worth it.
This book made me ache most of the time I was reading it. Not because it was bad; it was actually great. It’s just that these characters have it rough. And they’re so wonderful that it’s tough to see them in these situations. There’s a raw grittiness to this story, without it feeling too heavy at the same time. And the author does an excellent job of drawing readers into Danny’s world, to see it the way he lives in it.
While this is challenging read because of the characters’ circumstances, I don’t want that to keep people from picking it up off the shelf. Because it is a great piece of literature–a work of art, really. And it tells what I think is an important story of two young men who need to find a way to persevere despite their circumstances.
Foxes at the Dreamspinner Press website