Born for Leaving ★★★★☆ [Review]

Book: Born for Leaving

Author: Jude Munro

Series: New England State of Mind

Genre: M/M Romance; Contemporary Romance; Sociology/Abuse

Pub date: 07/02/2020

Pages: 307

Publisher: (?)

Source: Reedsy Discovery

When they say be careful what you wish for, do you pay attention?

Neither did Oliver Tunstead.

Oliver wishes for nothing more than to get his mind off his crappy bartending job, pile of debt big enough to swallow him whole, and playboy ex-boyfriend/boss who refuses to back off. Too bad distractions, like the hot little convertible he has his eye on, cost megabucks. And Oliver is flat broke. Renting the spare bedroom in his rundown beachfront cottage is his only option to pick up the cash he needs–a risky proposition, as Oliver is the polar opposite of a people-person. When he responds to a bizarre ad in the Waterfront Gazette seeking summer housing, he gets more than he bargained for. But Oliver can cope… After all, how much harm can a single quirky tenant do to his tightly guarded life in three short months?

Where Oliver is a loner by design, urban cowboy Bodie is a loner by necessity. A family dispute long ago dropkicked him onto the path of a lifelong wanderer. This changes when Bodie moves into the tiny beachfront cottage and starts working the door at Oliver’s bar.

Despite Oliver and Bodie’s nearly paralyzing instinct to avoid commitment, they fall into a wary romance. And to their surprise, life as a couple is sweetly satisfying; that is, until their jealous boss devises a cruel plan to destroy the tentative bond they’ve built. True to form, Bodie hits the road, leaving Oliver to lick his wounds alone.

Can these wounded souls defy their urge to flee and fight for love?

**Trigger Warning: discussion of childhood sexual molestation of adult character, graphic physical violence, off-page coerced sexual relationship

Please note: This book was provided to me through Reedsy Discovery to give an honest review. I never go into a lot of detail in my reviews because why would you read the book if I told you everything that happens with my personal bias that you may or may not agree with if you’d have read it yourself?

First of all, despite the trigger warning being right there under the blurb, I didn’t see it. I blame the fact I was on my phone at the time. I read the sample chapter and it sounded interesting. After reading nothing but holiday books for the last week I was kinda sick of the happy happy. I got more than I bargained for. One thing I’ve found when reviewing books, it does take me out of my comfort zone. I’m sure I’ve said so many times I’d never consider reading that book otherwise. And, with the trigger warning, nope I wouldn’t have. But, like I said, I didn’t see it.

This book was extremely well written. Jude Munro did a great job sucking you into the story and making you feel both Oliver and Bodie’s struggles. You know how when there’s a car accident or something and people just can’t resist peeking even if the thought makes them kinda sick? That’s the way I felt. Kinda sick to my stomach and grinding my teeth not knowing what would happen next. Like a horror novel or something. There’s a reason I stick to mostly light-hearted books. Very serious books like this are painful to read. Especially when you like the characters.

I liked Oliver, Brodie, and their fellow staff at the bar they worked at. Except Jack, of course. Jack was… scary. Like I said, a horror novel that isn’t. I knew something bad was going to happen, kept waiting for it and dreading it. Ugh. Books like this are not good for my nerves. Despite my hesitancy to read this type of book I have to admit it was done well. My main complaint about the book was the focus on sex. But, that’s just me. I make no secret that I usually skim over all of that in most books.

No happy sighs and no warm fuzzies with this one. Well, I was feeling like every book I picked up was a carbon copy of every other book I’ve read lately and this one broke me from that slump. So, if you want something more serious to read for a change I’d recommend it. Just, keep the trigger warnings in mind.

“Some guys give out hand jobs like grocery flyers. But I found one who thinks every act of physical passion is a precious part of caring about somebody.

-Oliver thinking about Brodie

Why did I think I needed to be alone? Maybe it’s because I’ve been on my own for so long, I forgot how to be any other way.”

-Oliver when Brodie says he doesn’t want to leave

“In the middle of the pain and fear, I’ve gained something: Brodie’s trust. A prize in itself. And as incredibly, he’s earning mine.”

-Oliver after Brodie saved him from an attack from a bar patron
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