Author: Ek Blair
Series: Fading Trilogy, #2
~ SYNOPSIS ~
**This is a companion novel to the USA Today Bestseller, FADING.**
Knowing who you are and accepting who you are come at different prices.
Jase Kinrick grew up in your typical, all-American household. But after the death of his sister, his parents shut down, forcing him to deal with everything life throws his way alone. Terrified of the person he’s discovering himself to be, Jase has his way with every willing girl to try and rid himself of what he fears he is—gay.
Escaping California and moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, Jase frees himself to the reality that he likes men. Never staying with any guy long enough to get to know them, he doesn’t realize that he’s still hiding from who he is until he meets Mark. Scared of having real feelings for another guy stirs up the questions and fears he’s fought hard to bury.
To strip away the barriers to the heart of what is real, and to be okay with what lies underneath, will be Jase’s moment of truth. But he’ll need Mark to lead him there.
4.5 emotional stars
*It is recommended that you read Fading before reading this. Freeing is a companion novel.*
Having read Fading in August 2013, I have clearly had a break and many books in between....but I will admit that it was so easy to get back into this storyline. Knowing that this was a companion novel to Fading, I knew there was going to be some overlap in the story and I was concerned about that because I don't enjoy the retelling of a story in a whole new book. Well, let me tell you this much: it is NOT a retelling....we get his POV, but the story revolves around Jase and what he is going through. I loved the voice in this story and how it was told.
Jase has a lot of pain in his life....he lost his sister, he isn't close with his family and he is struggling with his own identity. Is he gay or is he straight? He fights so hard with himself and that just really made me feel so bad for him. No one should have to go through this alone and he hid so much and shouldered the burden of his own mental hangups. My heart....it ached for him. And then to find out your best friend gets brutally raped? That terror he felt, and the realization that that sort of pain is inconsolable must have been just heartbreaking. I teared up seeing this through his eyes.
~But I'm scared. I'm scared to know what this has done to her spirit. How will she ever heal from this?~
In addition to everything else going on in his life, Jase was constantly trying to come to terms with who he was and what his feelings for men were, let alone Matt. The walk we took in his shoes was very difficult for him personally, and the cruelty he dealt with was something no one should EVER have to deal with. Interestingly enough, it was emotionally tiring for me as well. Back and forth, try and give up....it was never-ending for him. It really just made me feel for him....he had an amazing new boyfriend, and he didn't know how to accept that fact. He couldn't come to terms with it and that made it hard on not only him, but Mark too.
While this was Jase's book, Candace was an integral part of it because she is an integral part of Jase's life. Jase adored Candace....we know this from Fading, but they had a relationship like no other. He was her protector and was always there for her. I loved that their relationship was so deep, so secure, that they knew they had each other's backs and nothing would get in the way of that. I appreciated Mark, but once he showed who he was and how much he cared for Jase, I fell hard for him. But his acceptance of Jase's relationship with Candace was what sealed the deal. The ability to 'see' the love that these three had for each other was very interesting as it was a little different than the norm, but I enjoyed watching Mark and Candace's relationship blossom. I was able to feel the emotion that these friends had for each other. These two men loved her unconditionally and it was very apparent. Seeing this happen through Jase's eyes was a treat. Their dynamic was written so perfectly; one was her emotional sounding board and the other really had a stronger grasp on the mental anguish and was there verbally to help guide her AND Jase. So perfect were they for her....so perfect.
There was one point during the story that made ME think that Jase had found his center....but hadn't realized it yet. When the arms of your lover can deliver you peace, hold on with all your might because finding comfort after pain isn't always easy. Mark was such a good man for Jase and I loved the way he comforted him and was always patient with him. He was devoted to Jase....and Jase was slowly coming to realize this.
~My mind creeps back to reality, and I wonder, through all the hurt I've caused people, what I ever did that was so right to deserve this. This right here.~
The emotion in this story was delivered very well. I love Mark and Jase, and I love how they fit so well together. Completely, 100% in love with these two. This book was so good....so good.
~ EK BLAIR ~
USA Today bestselling author and International Amazon bestselling author, E.K. Blair takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her FADING series. A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.
Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She's a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.
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