Who would you become if you lost the only person who ever mattered?
For twenty-six year old Dylan Hopkins, the answer is easy. He’s become no one. Memories of the happier times are all he has left as he finds himself meandering numbly through his now dull life. Though he cares about his work and family dearly, he’s yet to let himself find love again. Afraid of letting go of what he once had, Dylan chooses to keep his heart buried, where it belongs, having died a long time ago.
Conner Michelson is about to change everything Dylan knows. He’s every bit the bad boy persona – tatted up, ex-MMA fighter, but after an injury leaves him unable to fight, he has to rethink his goals. Having just opened his own gym, Conner can cross his first major life accomplishment off his very short list. Next up: find a man he can settle down with and build a family. Seems simple enough – a dream most people have, but when he meets Dylan, his carefree, easy-going life is thrown into a tailspin.
Determined to keep Dylan in his life, Conner vows to resurrect Dylan’s long ago buried heart and let love live once more.
I have never read any of Ms. Collins’s books before, so I am not sure if Let Love Live is indicative of her normal style of writing or not. By this I mean, I don’t know if she typically treats readers to two stories or not because that is exactly what I feel I was lucky enough to read. The first part of the book chronicles Dylan and Shane’s life as high school seniors and college freshmen. Just in case young adulthood is not enough to deal with on its own, these young men have to deal with the realization that Dylan is gay and it causes a huge rift in their friendship, causing Shane to ignore him for months. The first part of the book titled “Before” is told from the point of view of both Dylan and Shane and to say it is heartbreaking doesn’t do it justice. I couldn’t help but feel so strongly for both of these characters as their story unfolded to an end I saw coming long before I got there, but still made me bawl like a baby.
The second part of the story, entitled “After,” begins eight years later and chronicles Dylan’s life as he meets and falls in love with Conner – something he fights against for far too long. I will admit that Conner is the main reason I wanted to read this book. The idea of a gay MMA fighter is hot – seriously, all of that testosterone and muscle just makes me weak in the knees. But Conner endeared himself to me almost instantly. He has a wicked sense of humor that appeals to me and had me laughing out loud several times. I’m not one to quote lines from books much, but Conner left me no choice. One of my favorite lines from the book is actually one of his internal thoughts: It’s a good thing I’m not wearing workout shorts because nothing screams “I’m a professional” like sporting wood at the front desk of your own gym. Seriously, how can you not love this character? As both men come with baggage, their relationship is by no means smooth sailing and they have a lot of obstacles they have to deal with to make it work. However, passion is NOT one of those obstacles. Good grief the sex scenes were H.O.T. hot! There is just something about visualizing all of that muscled flesh … whew!!
Ms. Collins gives fans of M/M romances not one, but two beautiful stories. As Dylan is a main character in both of them, we know the first doesn’t have a happy ending, but it is beautiful nonetheless. I love this book and look forward to reading it again. I just know to have my tissues handy because even though I know what to expect, I know I will cry again. For me, one sign of an excellent piece of writing is one in which the author can still make me cry even when I know it’s coming – it is the journey, not the destination that makes a book enjoyable for me and Ms. Collins took me on two beautiful journeys in Let Love Live.
Read Prologue over at Melissa’s Blog (CLICK HERE)
Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.