"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde
This sequel directly picks up where "My Hero" left off, with Johnny, the now out college football player, and Rich, the professional diver still working towards the World Diving Championships and the Olympic Games, standing together as a stronger and more solid couple.
But even with friends and family supporting them all the way, bigotry and hate make their everyday life seem like walking the gauntlet with two big, fat targets painted on their backs. Between tender, sweet and incredibly sexy moments, things turn ugly and violent fast. And while Rich will always be Johnny's hero and vice versa, some things are no longer in their power. Which is why a change of scenery does them a world of good.
While I enjoyed the first book very much (except for some niggles and issues), this one was... all over the place. It felt more like several short stories packed into one novel. A lot of episodes, all differing in tone and topic, came together here, but they didn't always feel connected. The writing was great, and Max Vos is still my king of the smexy stuff. But overall, it felt like this novel was somehow missing one, general arc of suspense. Instead there were so many things going on, so many settings and sub-plots and side-characters with their own stories, that it felt like every "chapter" of their story had it's own little arc of suspense and it's very own HFN. I just could have done with a clearer, more defined golden thread, I guess.
Overall, I was happy to revisit this couple. It was good to see Johnny and Rich grow, evolve and get even closer to each other. On the other hand, I love Max Vos' hot and raunchy side, and the sweetness and cuteness here was killing me at times. It was just that little bit too much sugar and cheese and fluff. I might be too cynical for that.
Or maybe just a cranky bat with a little bit of romance-phobia thrown in now and again.