Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: His Mossy Boy
Author: R. Cooper
Series: Being(s) in Love #8
Heroes: Martin & Ian
Genre: M/M Fantasy
Length: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 11, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Years ago, a very intoxicated Martin nearly died in the woods outside Everlasting, and a beautiful creature saved him, although Martin’s done his best to forget it. He spends his time in a haze of weed as he avoids his emotionally abusive mother—and the way he feels about men. Martin is already a weirdo in his isolated small town; he doesn’t need a sexuality crisis too. He’s a mess, but someone—or something—always seems to take care of him, usually a tall, sarcastic deputy by the name of Ian Forrester.
No one knows much about Ian, which is how he and his family prefer it. Ian has resigned himself to a lonely life keeping his secrets and guarding his forest. It’s safe to dream of Martin, because Martin never remembers Ian helping him. Besides, Martin barely speaks to Ian, so nothing can ever grow between them. Right?
But with the dragons—and the magic—back in Everlasting, suddenly anything seems possible, even a happily ever after for two men who never expected one….
Well, what to say about this novel? It’s so hard to really describe a story sometimes when you enjoy it so much. For this one, Martin grew up with a verbally abusive mother who wouldn’t shut up about how fragile or too emotional Martin was. Unfortunately, this caused Martin to drown himself in alcohol and drugs to try and forget how much of a disappointment he is and how he just might like boys and girls, just like a fairy. Ian sees Martin for who he really is but he has rules. He doesn’t get close to anyone, he can’t so he puts up walls and keeps everyone at a distance with his sarcasm. But even with the issues they have, they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Martin secretly loves that Ian seems to save him but hates that Ian sees him at his worst and Ian can’t stop himself from wanting to protect Martin even when he knows it’ll lead to nothing but heartache. With everything changing in Everlasting, will they be able to explore a possible relationship between them or will their only interactions be Martin’s drunken nights and Ian’s brief visits to the coffee shop?
This might be a hard read for some people. Not only is Martin severely emotionally abused but he deals with it by drinking too much and smoking pot or taking drugs, any way to get his secret desire for men to go away. It was hard to read his thoughts because of how much he put himself down but at the same time, it made my heart break for what he’s had to endure and how much he thought he couldn’t be himself because of how crap his mother has said to him over the years. However, while I liked Martin as a character, I adored Ian more. I loved that he tried so hard to not make friends yet he somehow ended up with a lot and ended up with people admiring him. It was amusing to see how much his protectiveness to keep the town safe ended up endearing people to him, even though he’s distant and sarcastic to them. But, the biggest draw for me, was that when Ian met Martin for the first time, he made a promise to Martin and he never broke it even when it caused him to break his own rules.
Together, I really loved them. I loved that Ian was so gentle with Martin and so patient. I loved that Martin was so nervous and scared of his feelings for Ian and how much he’d blush and turn into a bumbling idiot whenever Ian showed up at the coffee shop. It was so cute and sweet but I just couldn’t get over how much chemistry they had. Mostly, I loved how invested I was in their relationship. I loved that I felt so much for them to the point, when things got rough and too emotional, I got emotional. It was so intoxicating to experience that with the story because I haven’t really been this invested in one in a very long time.
While I really enjoyed this one, for about the first 30% I wasn’t sure if I could stick with it. It was just so slow going and it felt like the story was going nowhere because there was too much internal musings, which honestly could have been drastically reduced and made things repetitive. However, around the 30% mark, I really became invested in the story and even though it still felt like this one went on forever, I didn’t have the urge to put it down anymore. I also did not like how much alcohol and drug abuse there was. I mean, everyone knew of Martin doing these things and no one really tried to get him help. Yes, they were concerned but they didn’t do anything to get him help until much too far into the story, IMO.
All in all, even though I had some issues, I really really loved this book. I adored the connection between Martin and Ian and while I didn’t exactly like how much drug/alcohol abuse or internal dialogue there was, I did enjoy the journey and where it ultimately leads. If you’re looking for a major slow burn, a ton of angst and a meaty story to get into, definitely give this one a go!
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*