Title: See My Words (Spectrum Nights: Book Two)
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 272 Pages
At a Glance: So much angst and drama, which I gobbled up in one sitting, completely captivated by the continuation of Scott & Rylan’s story.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Successful underwear model Scott Ashworth is lucky—his attack at the hands of an unknown assailant will leave no visible scars. His professional goals are still within reach, and best of all, his stepbrother Rylan Mahoney is back in his life, their teenage infatuation at last getting the chance to deepen into something more.
Thrown together by the circumstances of Scott’s injury, Rylan’s long-dormant feelings for him are quickly rekindled, though he’s haunted by the memory of Scott’s disappearance on the night of his eighteenth birthday and the six missing years that followed. Rylan pushes Scott for the truth, a firm believer in the maxim that secrets lose their power once they’re shared—but resurrecting old demons almost always comes with a price.
Before Scott knows it, his life is spiraling out of control, his toxic insecurities welling up to threaten the fragile relationship he’s building with Rylan. Learning to let go of the past and believe in himself will be Scott’s greatest challenge, or else he risks losing Rylan forever this time.
Review: I was lucky enough to have read the first book, Pieces of Me, and am glad I read that one because this is not a book that can be read as a stand-alone, not at all. Without having read the first book, this one wouldn’t have had the same impact—not to mention this story picks up right where the cliffhanger in Pieces of Me leaves off.
The focus in this book goes in a different direction than the first. The first gave more background to the two individuals, and how they came to be where they are in life, and why they behave the way they do while only starting to form their relationship. This one is about the relationship and all the obstacles it faces because of their pasts. There is plenty of angst and drama all over the place, but this time there was a little bit more lightness sprinkled throughout, by a very specific character, to keep it from becoming too overwhelming for me.
Scott—sigh—is such a mess, emotionally, mentally, and (initially) physically. In his mind his entire worth is on his looks and the image he portrays. Though beautiful on the outside, he doesn’t feel he has anything else to offer and—though I am not a mental health specialist—I wouldn’t be surprised if some mental illness exists based on his behavior and thought processes. Because he feels his only worth is in his looks, he has a difficult time grasping exactly why Rylan cares for him. He clings to Rylan, at times with desperation and neediness, but believes Rylan deserves more, leading to some pretty poor behavioral choices and a constant tension between the two. His lifestyle and environment were not good for him as an individual. He’s surrounded by people who only care about his pretty face and body, and how it could benefit them, other than Minh. It seemed to only solidify Scott’s belief that his physical attraction was his only redeeming quality.
I absolutely adore Rylan. He is self-aware and calls Scott on his BS when he needs to. He tries to show Scott how he feels with actions and words, and is so dang patient. Seriously, there were times, if it had been me, that I don’t know if I could have been as understanding as Rylan was. That is not to say he is perfection. He has his own hang-ups, dreams and hopes and pressure on himself to make something of his project. Without realizing it, in some ways he creates problems because he is always just so there all the time for Scott, being Scott’s “white knight” without really realizing he is doing it. Constantly trying to rescue him from whatever problems he has going on. He sometimes pushes too hard to do what he thinks is best for Scott.
Ultimately, their relationship has a lot of unhealthy qualities, and despite Rylan’s persistence and patience, a cycle was forming and it was taking its toll on both of them. Things had to give and, eventually, they do. Just not in a way I was expecting.
If I was let down anywhere, it was the plot point that was a result from the previous book’s cliffhanger. Granted, it picked up right where the previous book left off, but then after the first chapter or so, something that I feel was sort of a big deal just fades into the background until much later, sort of resurfacing with an equally lackluster reaction. Scott and Rylan’s behavior, and lack of response afterwards, just seemed a little weird to me, I guess. I expected more depth to the situation than there ended up being.
I got my wish from when I finished the first book, though, and that was more information on what happened during the guys’ years of separation. Wow, it explains so much about Scott’s behavior through this book. Though some of Scott’s past was expected, it was the feeling of depth and self-loathing that came through loud and clear, and my heart broke for the naïve kid who made a choice one night that led him down that path.
There are happy moments sprinkled through, courtesy of Minh. Minh is a ray of sunshine through this book, not holding back on telling Scott or Rylan what he thought of things, and breaking up the tension with a joke or just plain being Minh. I can’t even tell you what a wonderfully crafted secondary character he turned out to be.
I don’t know if there is another book planned for Scott & Rylan; this one ended in a way that wraps things up nicely as they stand, or could go on for another book. If there is another one, count me in! I really enjoyed this rollercoaster of a journey with them and, despite the emotional upheaval I went through, when I read the last word, I had a smile on my face and a happy heart.
You can buy See My Words here: