“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.” ~ Tennessee Williams
Angus and Reece have been friends nearly all their lives. They are almost like one person. Before their friendship has time to bloom into something more mature, Angus meets Brad who is possessive and jealous, sensing that there's a lot more to their relationship than meets the eye. Brad does whatever he can to separate them, but their friendship persists. Even though Reece has realized he loves Angus by this time, he also respects his friend's choice and backs off. However, when Brad breaks Angus’s heart, Reece is there to pick up the pieces, help heal his friend's spirit. Reece decides the best way to do that is to get Angus away from the situation. He and Angus set out on a road trip, not only of driving and sightseeing, but a journey on the road toward a new focus on life and love.
When the trip begins in almost total silence, with a sullen Angus, Reece worries that maybe this isn't the right choice to help Angus forgive himself and get beyond the humiliation and disgrace of being dumped after devoting ten years to a man who was never capable of loving him to start with. Reece wants to tell Angus how much he loves him, but he puts his best friend's healing process before any seeming selfish feelings of his own. Reece is doing what he's always done, being patient and supportive, putting Angus's feelings before his own. As the trip continues, Reece sees positive signs of the old Angus, the pre-Brad man, coming back and is hopefully optimistic. Reece's forbearance and wisdom is phenomenal. He knows Angus must go through a grieving process before he has any chance of getting his life together and being able to move on. Reece hopes he will move on toward loving him, but it will be enough if Angus can just get through this self-destructive, depressive state he is in.
The trip starts off to be only a week, but, as they visit more places, they think of others that they would love to see. Some of them, Angus has experienced with Brad, but marvels at the difference between how things were with his ex and how they are with his best friend. It's not until Angus finally has an emotional meltdown of massive proportions that he begins to stop blaming himself and starts to truly let go of his past with Brad. After this, Angus's attitude begins to shift. He starts to entertain the idea that he not only loves Reece, but he's IN love with him; it's both scary and wonderful at the same time.
Angus and Reece's journey touched my heart in a profound way. I adored both characters from the start and truly hoped they would end up where they belonged - together. As friends they are phenomenal, but being lovers and partners made everything right with their world. It's sad, in a way, that it took them ten years to get to that point, but each one, especially Angus, had to reach the point where he was ready, while Reece showed him a love that few of us ever experience by waiting for him to reach that point. I enjoyed sharing the experiences they had during their trip and wished I could have been there as well—Vegas, Nashville, DC, New York, and other places. Even though I was reasonably sure they would end up together, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. If you like best-friends-to-lovers tales, road trips, visiting exciting places, and true love prevailing, you may enjoy this book. Thanks so much, MJ, for this touching and hopeful story!