“When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything.” – Stephen Richards
Author: Kade Boehme
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: Raised in near seclusion by an agoraphobic mother, Davy Cooper’s social skills are almost nonexistent.
Now that his mother has died, he needs to make friends for the first time in his life. He catches Gavin Walker’s eye, but the sexy, confident, bad boy hipster intimidates shy Davy so much that he throws away Gavin’s number every time he offers it.
When Gavin defends Davy from a rude guy, Davy begins to warm to him. However, with his limited experience, he thinks he and Gavin are too different, and anything more than a casual acquaintance will end in complete disaster.
Review: Gavin was a tramp—a bit of a whore, really, who used sex to escape his horrid past and his less than perfect present. Watching the one constant in his life succumb to cancer, Gavin needed to escape the fact that one day soon he would be alone. So, he used random hookups to soothe the angst inside him, all the while secretly growing more and more aware of the painfully shy guy at the local ice cream shop he and his friends frequented after classes.
Davy was a frighteningly introverted young man who was as backwards as they come. Raised by an agoraphobic mother, home schooled and kept away from others his age, Davy grew up in a narrow cocoon that he managed to break free from just a few years ago. Since then, he has had a few disastrous encounters where men used him for sex and made sure he knew that he was not so hot at that as well. On top of all that, Davy struggles with understanding social cues and is, himself, crushing on the bad boy Gavin.
These two have so very little going for them that it is just so hard to believe that they will ever progress beyond the casual interactions at the ice cream shop. But looks can be deceiving, and bad boys sometimes have a heart of gold, and wallflowers sometimes hide the most amazing strength inside.
I would like to tell you that I adored Gavin from the start…but to do so would mean that author Kade Boehme had not done his job, and that would be a lie. Trouble & the Wallflower was a carefully crafted love story that had realistic characters who were painfully flawed and so very vulnerable. I found myself hoping that Gavin would not break poor Davy into pieces and then walk away, and let me tell you, author Kade Boehme left me hanging more than once in this novel, and that made for a truly compelling story that kept me firmly in its grip.
I so enjoyed how this story unfolded slowly. More and more, I find I appreciate authors such as Kade Boehme, who write a story that easily translates into real life. Things were messy and hard in this novel and yet so terribly sweet and romantic as well. Without giving too much away, I found the way in which these boys came together sexually to be so refreshing. Nothing was instantly made comfy for them. Instead, they had to meet and deal with definite sexual roles and preferences that were already established. I really enjoyed how the author worked this element out between them. Relationally, this was a magnificent example of how characters can be well written and realistically evolved in a solid storyline.
So, the one little niggle that prevented that half a star? Well, I struggled with the end of this novel. The last few chapters just left me shaking my head a bit. I don’t want to give anything away, but the way Gavin chose to deal with the sudden changes in his life and his grandfather’s death just felt forced to me—a bit wrong, given how much had gone before for these guys. It is a small concern, but I think a valid one.
However, all in all, Trouble & the Wallflower was an extremely well written story with some beautiful emotional moments and realistic characters who impacted my heart and kept me wanting more. I recommend this novel to you!