Wow. First of all, I think I'm in love with Shawn. There, I said it--confession and the soul and all that. Also, I want to visit ST Ignacio, like yesterday. Seriously, we're hitting the end of summer break here and I think my sanity might depend on it.
I had my doubts about the blurb, which is actually a pretty common problem I have with Maxfield, which just shows the challenges she gives herself in creating these stories. Messed up guys with tragic pasts are not exactly uncommon in M/M contemporary, and having one of the heroes be deaf steered awfully close to afterschool special territory. So sue me, I was an idiot. This is Maxfield--she's just like her heroes, fearlessly standing up to these crazy, risky plot set-ups, and totally coming through for her readers.
I swear I really did think I was going to lose it reading this one, and that is not something that happens to me often. Cooper's story was just that heartbreaking. Though you only learn about what brought him to Nacho's retrospectively, just the idea of someone that gifted flushing his potential down the toilet hurts--hurts like you're watching it happen to someone important to you. And then of course, you see the healing happen, and it just reaffirms your faith. which of course meant that when Cooper decides to go back to Wisconsin, I began screaming NO!!!!! And then there was the moment when Shawn chases after the bike as Cooper rides off=major blubbering. Then, when Shawn shows up in River Falls=even more blubbering. That was also when my mini-crush on a crazily sexy guy turned into serious love for a fictional character. I mean he came back to get "something that belongs to me"--could he be more adorable?
I guess it's pretty obvious by now that I loved this book. Endless gratitude to Z. A. Maxfield for creating these two characters.