How do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?
Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.
It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued Art Deco building on the WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the artistic, sweet man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.
When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.
There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford is a contemporary romantic suspense. Jake Moore is struggling to support his abusive father in his father’s last days. He’s spent his life denying who he was to appease the parents who could never love him properly. Dallas Yates gravitates toward the sad welder across the street from his new remodeling project. After tragedy strikes, their attraction has room to bloom into a lasting love.
I’ll start with some caveats. First, the suspense and mystery did not play as large of a role in this book as it did in other Rhys Ford works, but it was still the catalyst for the action. And second, There’s This Guy is a very dark book. The opening scene, wherein one of the main characters seriously contemplated suicide was difficult to read through. However, I am glad I did. There’s This Guy painted a realistic picture of the process of clawing your way out of an abusive childhood and the search for peace thereafter. Jake found Dallas right when he needed them and I was so happy with his development from that scared man with a gun on the first page to the man who opens himself to Dallas’ love at the end. I recommend if you can enjoy dark before the light.