Nobody’s Hero (Letting Go #1) by J. Leigh Bailey


Nobody's Hero

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Bradley Greene’s family all but discarded him when his brother caught him fooling around with another boy. Now Bradley has seventeen dollars and a gas card, and he’s sleeping in his car. He’s an emotional mess and if he doesn’t land a job soon, he’s up the proverbial creek.

Danny Ortega can take care of himself…most of the time. When what started as a date turns into sexual assault in a dark parking lot, he’s grateful for Brad’s help—and an instant admirer of Brad’s military school-honed muscles. He certainly doesn’t expect to see him again, and definitely not as the newest hire at Ortega Construction.

As Brad and Danny’s quiet attraction turns into more, things start to go sour before they’ve even started. Danny grows frustrated that Brad won’t open up emotionally. And Brad is terrified of being responsible for someone else’s feelings. When Brad’s family makes one last attempt to turn him into an “acceptable” son, all bets are off—he and Danny will need to decide if they’re in this together…or apart. addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16

Angela_s PonderingsTAG I started reading Nobody’s Hero expecting Danny’s sexual assault that is mentioned in the blurb to be the heavy part of the book. Boy was I wrong. Not to make light of Danny’s situation nor Brad’s willingness to step in, but that scene turned out to be a minor scuffle once we learn why Brad is in the right place at the right time. While this is a new adult romance, the drama and angst isn’t manufactured – sadly it’s reality based (not necessarily a true story, but this stuff happens) and completely understandable. This made for a very moving read as the author dealt with difficult subject matter in a sensitive way.

 

*****THIS SECTION MAY CONTAIN MINOR SPOILERS*****

 

When Brad overhears Danny’s date attempt to force him back into a vehicle to finish their evening, Brad is unable to stand by and do nothing, even if he has no idea of who Danny is. While Brad would prefer to go back to his truck once the incident is over, Danny insists on treating him to a drink while they wait for Danny’s brother to pick him up. Because he was raised by parents who love and accept him for who he is (his dad’s comments later in the book are perfect when it comes to this), Danny has no problem opening up to Brad about being gay and discussing his family, friends, the town, and anything else he can to keep Brad occupied. Unfortunately Brad was not raised by accepting family (<=serious understatement) and tells Danny that it’s not a good idea for them to hang out. Even when Brad ends up getting a job working with Danny, he continues to discourage anything between them. At first glance, it may appear that Brad is being an arse because he doesn’t want anyone to know he is gay and is refusing to hang out with Danny to avoid being outed. But Brad’s concerns aren’t unfounded because the reason he has left his family and trust fund behind is that Brad’s brother is in jail for assault and attempted murder when he beat up and tried to kill the boy Brad was caught kissing. As much as you would like to believe that that horror story only appeared in books, it’s unfortunate that such incidents are a reality in our world and once you learn all the details about what Brad’s brother did, you understand why Brad pushes Danny away and even once they begin seeing one another, why he refuses to make their relationship public knowledge.

 

*****END OF POTENTIAL SPOILERS*****

 

Considering what Brad was dealing with, I was caught between feeling badly for him because of his past and his undeserved feelings of guilt and feeling badly for Danny because he was caught between understanding why Brad acted the way he did, yet wanting for more and hoping to break through Brad’s fears. I was glad that Danny wasn’t afraid to call Brad out on certain things and that helped get through to him eventually. I liked how the author built a little bit of suspense around the situation with Danny’s brother and how it played out because it not only showed how family sticks together, but also gave Brad an unexpected chance to stand up to his mother. And I LOVED the Ortega family! They were so welcoming to Brad and the love they have for one another was so very apparent in their everyday interactions. I thought the ending was perfect for both Danny and Brad. Nobody’s Hero has the Letting Go series off to a great start and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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