Love Means ... Freedom by Andrew Grey

Love Means ... Freedom by Andrew Grey
Stars: 3.5/5

This is an enjoyable story, following two young men, one who needs to learn to stand up for himself and another who needs to learn to see what people are like inside. This is a tale of healing, some physical and some emotional, as Preston and Stone struggle for love, understanding, and freedom from their past.

What I liked
Pace. Once Stone and Preston start dating, they move at a reasonable pace. They confront Stone's issues without it being a huge deal (since said issues effect everyone differently). And take time before really confronting the issues, which felt realistic. They also both slowly grow feelings for one another, rather than instantly, but still don't talk about it immediately.

Length. There is no "big" climax, but rather several smaller ones (pun recognized, if not intended). This works in order to fit in their entire story and express the theme of the book (Love means freedom, in case you missed that). Each time I hit a mini-climax, I'd see how much I had left, shrug, and continue. The story never dragged, no matter how long it was, but just steadily went along. All those stories I've read where "I wish there was more" was satisfied with this one, where we kept going until we're cozy.

What didn't work
Telling, not Showing. Sometimes the author tells us, or spells out what was already implied. This was a small stone tripping me in my travels, but for the most part wasn't too distracting. I would come across a line, wince, then move on. It didn't terribly detract from the story.

Pace. It felt like the transition from "you annoying jerk" to "I want to kiss you" went quickly, but again this didn't detract from the story, since their initial getting together isn't really the focus. Also, Preston does apologize and offer to make amends, but I think having Stone realize that he just uses his cockiness as a defense in the beginning (rather than making an awkward reference about it later) would have smoothed the problems on Stone's end.

Equine therapy. Being a horseback rider and familiar with equine therapy, I felt some of these things facts were a bit off. It could be the type of therapy center they are running, and some of the facts were spot on, but other parts had me questioning the realism (certification, experience, training, lack of sidewalkers...) This probably won't bother most people.

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