Reviewed by Ami
Title: Let Me Live
Author: Shirley Anne Edwards
Series: Finding the Strength #2
Heroes: Marshall & Benny
Genre: M/M New Adult
Length: 175 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink
Release Date: January 21, 2020
Available at: Harmony Ink & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: The one person he trusted destroyed everything. Trusting again won’t be easy.
Eighteen-year-old Marshall’s bright future shattered the day his once friend and lover opened fire on their campus, killing twelve and leaving Marshall with a shoulder wound and devastating guilt over the part he played in the massacre. The press may have dubbed him a hero, but Marshall has nowhere to turn, no one to help him through the anxiety and depression closing in on him.
Until he meets tattoo artist Benny Hayes.
Benny can’t solve all Marshall’s problems, but he can assure him that he’s not defined by his trauma. Marshall wants what Benny’s offering. He wants to live, to love again. But the secret he shares with the shooter casts a long shadow, and Marshall’s fear of it coming to light makes it hard to move forward.
In a different day, I would probably enjoy this book better. It dealt with an aftermath of a shooting as well as family relationship. Unfortunately, I was expecting a TOTALLY different book when I read the blurb – and requested the advanced copy. I was imagining a hurt/comfort with age-gap trope between the tattoo artist and the young man. I wasn’t expecting a young adult type of story where the romance was lacking.
Nineteen-year old Marshall is a survivor and he goes home to Albee, Pennsylvania, after being the only victim alive after a mass shooting at his university, which was done by Marshall’s own ex. He deals with his PTSD, with his estranged relationship with his mother, while also, slowly discovers love with Benny Hayes, a slightly older man (he’s 26) who is a tattoo artist and co-owns a tattoo shop.
Throughout the book, we have BUNCH of characters, whom I thought spend more time with Marshall than Benny (as the love interest). We have another young man, Theo, whom Marshall had crush on for quite a while, but it is complicated because Marshall’s father dated Theo’s mother. Marshall’s other friends. Marshall’s mother (and father). Heck, Marshall wasn’t even introduced to Benny until about 1/3rd of the book. Sorry to say, I felt detached with all these characters. Although I did like Marshall’s dad.
My rating, more or less, also depends on how I feel towards the book while I am reading them. It’s not necessarily 100% related to the quality of writing or the story itself. Because I was expecting romance, and I didn’t get it, I didn’t enjoy this as much as I wanted. Thus, my final rating.
Overall Impression: It was okay
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*