Title: Good Enough
Author: Kade Boehme
My Rating: B+
Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Payton and Noah
Release Date: December 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Noah Di Cicco has been wracked with guilt since college when he crushed Payton. His insecurities and betrayal destroyed their relationship, and eventually Noah's whole life. Six years and the experience of a rock bottom have changed Noah.
Now that Noah knows he’s good enough for love, both men remember what they had, while moving past the hurt they caused each other so long ago. Maybe they can be good enough together.
2nd Edition. Revised, heavily re-edited, and expanded.
Straight up...I loved this book. This story is a second chance at love trope (which is one of my favorites) and it's done really well. This is a story about two guys who were best friends for 2 years in college before they became more and then were exclusive boyfriends for 2 more years...until it all exploded.
The story is told in a series of flashbacks intermixed with the current day story, which make it all so much more emotional to read. There were moments when I felt physically sick about the pain happening on the pages of the book...for both Noah and Payton. Because these were two men that did love one another, but they were REALLY young when they got together. They also both had insecurities that came into play with their mistakes. Noah's mistakes are the ones that are most front and center in the story because he cheated...everyone knows that's bad, so it's easy to point the finger at him as the bad guy in this relationship. But I almost feel as if Payton's sins are worse because what he did systematically tore Noah down whether he meant to or not. Noah was an art student and Payton felt that was an inferior course of study. His comments were cutting and hurtful...and honestly, within the storyline, I personally wanted more retribution and realization for him. He got a glimpse of how hurtful he was, but I don't feel like he ever really fully appreciated just how deep those things he did and said went into Noah's psyche.
The book is deeply emotional as you would guess. These two guys have a lot of issues to work out and the last 6 years haven't been the kindest to Noah. Over and over my heart broke throughout this story. But I love that even with all the pain and hurt between them, there is still so much love there that shines through even during the worst moments. There is pain, but neither of them gets any enjoyment out of hurting the other...no matter how bitter things have become. When they lash out, it's purely out of self-defense. For that reason, their relationship and the validity of it in the long-term works for me even with all the absolutely horrible stuff behind them.
I loved this story, but there were a few minor timeline issues in the book that dropped this from a 5 star to a 4 star read for me...and honestly the issues probably just came from the re-edit on it. I'm pretty sure that there's a new sex scene into the book because later there's another and with the way things are stated in the later scene, it sounds like the first time they'd had penetrative sex with one another since their breakup...which wasn't the case. Also, there are two scenes with Chase, Noah's friend. In the second, he's supposedly just learning things that they'd already discussed in an earlier scene...so he already knew this information. Like I said...minor things in the overall story, but they jarred me out of the book and I began to second guess that I read things wrong (note: I did go back and check that I'd read them right before I wrote my review.)
So, while there were a couple of things that weren't quite right about the book, I still absolutely adored it. The emotional impact of the story is very high and even with the bad things each of the characters did, I loved them and felt so much empathy towards their situation and their pain. Also, I love the epilogue. I needed that to believe in the health of their future. Overall, it was just a really good, emotionally satisfying read.