Title: Nobody's Hero
Author: J. Leigh Bailey
My Rating: A-
Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Brad and Danny
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Danny Ortega can take care of himself…most of the time. When what started as a date turns into sexual assault in a dark parking lot, he’s grateful for Brad’s help—and an instant admirer of Brad’s military school-honed muscles. He certainly doesn’t expect to see him again, and definitely not as the newest hire at Ortega Construction.
As Brad and Danny’s quiet attraction turns into more, things start to go sour before they’ve even started. Danny grows frustrated that Brad won’t open up emotionally. And Brad is terrified of being responsible for someone else’s feelings. When Brad’s family makes one last attempt to turn him into an “acceptable” son, all bets are off—he and Danny will need to decide if they’re in this together…or apart.
This was a sweet book about family and what that really means...which is so much more than simply blood ties.
Brad's family is all about appearance, so when they discovered he was gay, they lost it. His brother tried to kill his boyfriend and Brad was shipped off to the worst military school to finish off high school. His parents hoped that being surrounded by all that masculinity would "cure him". Brad's simply tried to survive the last two years, trying to make it until he was 18 and could make his own decisions without his parents' influence. He's finally made that break, but that's left him broke and homeless until he finds work with the Ortega family construction company.
The Ortega's are the exact opposite of Brad's family. They are a huge bunch and immediately accept Brad into the fold. They feed, shelter, and offer him a job...no questions asked. They also completely accept the fact that Danny is gay and always have...no questions asked. Their love is not conditional which is so different from what Brad has grown up with.
This is all so different from what Brad has known. He wants to stay firmly and safely in his closet...where no one can hurt him in any way. Brad hasn't known trust or acceptance, so he has a really hard time accepting that from the Ortega family or from Danny. But as the book progresses, he learns that from both Danny and his family.
This is a sweet coming of age story for both these guys. Brad's had to grow up fast because he's learned some really hard lessons along the way. Seeing what Brad has had to deal with is an eye-opener for Danny, which forces him to take a new view on his world too. Not everything is as easy as he's always had it. He's taken that for granted before he sees all that Brad has dealt with.
In the midst of all this is a little mystery. Equipment is going missing from the construction company and the disappearances just happened to coincide with Brad's arrival within the company. There are also some weird things happening with Danny's older brother Ray, but it's hard to know if he just has an issue with Brad or if something more is going on there.
Overall I enjoyed the book. I'm not usually a fan of having the main characters quite this young, but the book was entertaining to read and I liked the severe contrasts between the two families and what the definition of family meant for each of them. For anyone that enjoys m/m and coming of age stories, this is a good one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.