Thirty Days by Shayla Kersten
I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did, not that I didn't enjoy it. The characters, the plot, the situation, and their relationship all engaged me, but nothing drew me into the characters enough that I fell in love with them. I felt for Biton and the difficult situation he was in, and I definitely felt the pain he did when thinking of Erik, but I never felt his connection with Cavan (even while cheering for them to be together). (Side note, I was humdrum when reading this book [and several others], so take that into account with this review.)
I liked the characters, especially Cavan. I wanted to wrap him up and take him home and nurse him back to health just like Biton was doing. He was beautiful, scarred, and broken, and it warmed my heart to see so many people care about him. I liked Biton and his earnest attempt to do what was best for Cavan. Four of the side characters (not the therapist) were understanding, considerate and I liked them and how they represented their part of their world. I didn't like the therapist, but I don't think I'm supposed to.
The writing was fairly good and kept me in the story. I'd be willing to give other stories by this author a chance, even if this one didn't win my heart completely.
Oddly enough, although the seemingly random and inconsistent change in perspective normally bothers me, in this case I didn't mind. I felt Antonio was used just enough to show things from alternative perspectives, although I didn't feel the switch was completely necessary: What did the reader gain by seeing those flashes into his life?
Spoilers to follow, although nothing earth shattering
Also, I would have liked to have seen more of Cavan's perspective, which probably added up to a page and a half total for the whole story. Our limited view inside his mind and the time jump left me unconvinced about Cavan's actual interest in Biton. (Not that I doubt that he is interested, but I didn't feel a connection. I didn't get excited about it. I said, "Aww, yay!" but was otherwise unmoved.)
I'm torn about whether to read the second story in the series. But if I come across it at a reasonable price, I'll definitely pick it up, as the premise interests me and I hope it explores the emotional/angsty conflict more.