Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for a contemporary New Adult M/M romance, RECKLESS HOPE, by j. leigh bailey. This is the second book in the Letting Go series, about young men who find love when they are least looking for it. I really enjoyed NOBODY’S HERO, and I found RECKLESS HOPE to be a touching story about living through loss, and making the best of bad circumstances.
About the book:
What’s life without a little risk?
Or a lot of risk, if you’re Sebastian Carlisle. He’ll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.
Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes.
Micah’s got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can’t let them down. Or at least that’s what he tells himself.
A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah’s family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he’ll let him.
How about a little taste?
“I thought I knew what kind of person you were.”
“Yeah, you made that pretty clear.”
Micah cringed, but kept going. “You take for granted everything I work my ass off to achieve. It’s easy for you. And now I know there’s more to you than that. I don’t understand your choices, or the need for an adrenaline rush you seem to have.” He held up a hand to keep Sebastian from saying anything. He scooted up, resting his back against the handlebars. “I don’t have to understand. It’s part of who you are.”
“Somehow I don’t think this discussion is heading in a direction I’m going to like.” Sebastian drew his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them.
“The thing is, you’re a bad influence on me.”
“You don’t even have to do anything. Take tonight, for instance.”
“I have a midterm tomorrow. I should be studying. Or even sleeping. Instead I’m here. I never have trouble doing what I’m supposed to do. Setting aside my ‘want tos’ to do my ‘have tos.’ Except around you.”
“I’m not trying to make your life harder. I’m just trying to be part of it.”
“That’s what I don’t get. You could have almost anyone. You could find someone a hell of a lot less complicated than me.”
“You may not believe it, but I don’t mind complications.”
This is the second book in a series, but is fully enjoyable as a standalone.
Micah Burke is 19 going on 62. He is the guardian for his 14 y/o sister and caregiver to his paraplegic mother. Two years ago his alcoholic parents were responsible for a car wreck that killed his father, paralyzed his mother, and killed three others. Since then he has had to take on two jobs and the role of parent. He barely makes ends meet and only goes out one night a month–one night of dancing–where he meets Sebastian Carlisle.
Sebastian Carlisle is as rich as they come. He’s a sophomore at Northwestern and an entitled prick with a sad history–his twin died of leukemia four years ago. His parents have pretty much moved to Europe and his only remaining family is his wealthy, but strict, grandfather–who absolutely does not approve of Sebastian’s risky life choices. Since then, Bas has lived his life on the edge, never showing his tenderness or vulnerability to anyone. Something about staid and sober Micah calls to Bas, reminds him of his conscientious and caring brother. The closer Sebastian gets to Micah, the more Micah tries to push him away–at first.
Micah has no time for a flighty boyfriend, but he can see that Sebastian isn’t a relationship guy. This is (at first) a problem–Micah doesn’t do casual, but then again Micah doesn’t do…anything. The close contact Micah and Sebastian have while working at the Carlisle Gardens Nursing Home (Micah as a CNA and Sebastian as a volunteer) keeps tempting Micah to take Sebastian up in his offers of fun. And casual sex…
This is a definite hurt/comfort story of two lonely young men looking for a partner who can be a support, not a burden. Micah is the first guy Sebastian has met in a long while who wants nothing from him–not money or contacts or anything, except a bit of fun now and then. Micah is sure being with Sebastian is a mistake–that he will let Micah down, just as everyone else in his life has. He’s so sure that he continually pushes Sebastian away, even when he truly needs his help.
I did like when Micah opened up, and asked Sebastian for help. And Sebastian’s response was way past stellar. I loved how Sebastian just meshed with the most difficult people–cantankerous old men and wild teens. He saw pieces of himself reflected in others and decided that he didn’t need to live up to his brother’s memory–rather he could behave like someone his brother would have been proud to know, and love. It was a very touching coming-of-age. These guys are young for all the tragedy in their lives, but the end speaks of happier days and a brighter future together. Expect a bit of angst and a decent amount of sexytimes.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the author:
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.
She wrote her first story at seven, which was, unbeknownst to her at the time, a charming piece of fan-fiction in which Superman battled (and defeated, of course) the nefarious X Luther. She was quite put out to be told, years later, that the character’s name was actually Lex. Her second masterpiece should have been a best-seller, but the action-packed tale of rescuing her little brother from an alligator attack in the marshes of Florida collected dust for years under the bed instead of gaining critical acclaim.
Now she writes New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance novels about boys traversing the crazy world of love, relationships and acceptance.