Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Steven’s Heart
Author: Ashavan Doyon
Heroes: Steven Everett/Michael Rossier
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 334 Pages
Publisher: Torquere Press
Release Date: August 27, 2014
Available at: Torquere Press, Amazon and Smashwords
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: When a love triangle breaks, Steven Everett is left alone to grieve over a boyfriend lost to someone else. Surrounded by friends too tied to Aidan’s new lover to give advice, Steven turns instead to a broken and beaten man, Aidan’s other ex, Michael Rossier, who also knows the pain of having loved and lost Aidan. Steven’s and Michael’s confessions grow deeper, each confiding in the other until neither can deny an attraction. But being with Michael feels like cheating, and Steven isn’t sure what to do. The connection get stronger every day, and Steven realizes he’s facing an impossible choice.
To make a relationship with Michael work, Steven needs to make peace with Michael’s troubled past. Even more terrifying, he’ll have to tell Michael the secret he’s never told anyone, not even Aidan. With Michael recovering from yet another surgery, Steven leaves to face the ghosts of the past. He has to be certain. This time, Steven knows, the decision means revealing the secrets of his heart and hoping their fragile feelings can survive.
Before I go into my actual review, I just want to say that to really understand this one, you should read Loving Aidan first as Steven’s Heart is the sequel to that book and without reading that one first, you might not understand completely why Steven and Michael are where they are.
This is the story of Steven, who fell in love with Aidan only to have his heart ripped out when Aidan dumped Steven for Steven’s best friend, Sammy. Devastated and alone, Steven’s only lifeline is Michael, Aidan’s ex, who was beaten nearly to death. With Michael’s injuries, Steven can’t help but be there for the man while he recovers even if he does hate Michael for what he did to Aidan. But during Michael’s healing, they get close enough to have Steven confused on his feelings over not just Michael but Aidan as well. Can these two get through not only Michael’s surgeries but find a way to embrace the emotions running through both of them? But the real question is whether Michael will be able to accept the secret Steven’s been keeping from everyone for years.
When I read Loving Aidan last year, I fell in love with Steven. This blond Adonis who had such a romantic heart and came out of the closet for someone he thought would be his one and only. To be honest, I was upset that Aidan picked Sammy over Steven because Steven, in my opinion, was just so much sweeter and gentler; a gentle giant. That’s what I love about Steven. He has a heart of gold but unfortunately, that causes him a lot of hurt feelings. It’s sad because he’s so confused and upset but he wants to find love soooo bad, it’s killing him. He finds that in Michael, though, even with all that confusion and I really liked that.
Michael embodies every character that I hate…. but I didn’t hate him. He’s a cheater, he’s an ex-drug addict and he’s a pot smoker. At the same time, Michael’s as confused as Steven is. He’s had a hard life and he’s just trying to cope with the pain and recover from his injuries, which included losing an eye to an infection. I loved Michael because it was obvious that he cared for Steven but at the same time, I’m worried. Worried that he’ll cheat on Steven or that he’ll relapse and hurt not just Steven but Steven’s son, Ben, especially since Michael was confident he’d relapse again one day. On top of that, I didn’t really agree with the whole mentality of smoking pot taking the place of doing crack. That’s like saying you can’t quit drinking unless you pick up smoking or saying that you can’t stop doing drugs unless you have another crutch to lean on. As if trying to be completely clean of drugs is an impossibility. I didn’t agree with that at all and din’t like how it was so easily accepted that Michael could replace shooting up with smoking pot instead.
I enjoyed this one but it took me a while to really get into it. The beginning deals heavily with Steven heartbroken over Aidan leaving him for Steven’s best friend. I liked that Steven fell so hard for Aidan but I felt like his reactions were over the top and drawn out. I could understand why Steven was so devastated but he didn’t even want to move on and even though the evidence of Aidan being with someone else was all around him, Steven didn’t really believe they were over, which I couldn’t understand. Because of this, Steven cried a lot. I like it when characters cry but Steven cried A LOT and that just grew too much for me.
Beyond that, I felt like there was something missing from the end. I LOVED the ending but it felt open-ended even with the epilogue. There’s a whole year missing and while we get some idea of where Steven and Michael are in their relationship, we don’t have an idea of what they’re doing now. What kind of job did Steven get? Where in town did they move to? Is Ben living completely with them now? What’s Michael doing now? Did Steven’s brothers and mom ever warm up to Michael? How did Michael deal with Steven’s brothers smoking? There were just so many questions left unanswered because of that.
Overall, this was still a good sequel. I LOVED that Steven finally got the love he deserved. It broke my heart that Aidan left Steven for Sammy so I’m glad that Steven was able to find his own happily ever after. I had trouble getting into the story but after about 30%, I was finally drawn in and eager to see what happened next. Steven and Michael together are so sweet and adorable and really liked that Steven was there so much for Michael. If you’re looking for a contemporary with a bit of angst, a broken-hearted man trying to find love again and a skater punk recovering from near death, give this one a try because you just might like it 🙂
Overall Impression: I liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*
As part of this blog tour, Ashavan is giving away TWO ebook copies of Steven’s Heart (open internationally) and one signed paperback copy of Loving Aidan (US residents only)! To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.
Follow the rest of the Steven’s Heart tour:
8/29 – Love Bytes
8/30 – Prism Book Alliance
8/31 – Andrew Q Gordon
9/1 – Larry Benjamin
9/2 – Kimi-chan Experience
9/3 – The Blogger Girls
9/4 – GGR- Review
9/5 – JoyfullyJay
9/6 – Rainbow Gold Reviews
9/7 – The Novel Approach