Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Vibrant Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
“Find your truth, Roman, no matter what it is. You deserve that.”
I've read a handful of Riley Hart's books over the past couple of years. The Blackcreek series introduced her writing to me, and her Broken Pieces series made her an even more notable author worth keeping an eye on. Then there was her Wild Side and Last Chance series, her BDSM-themed Jared & Kieran duet, and her co-written gay fairy tale romance, Ever After. I've enjoyed every single one of those books, liked some, loved the others. And then Hart releases His Truth, her latest standalone. This felt different, but if you asked me to pinpoint what it was that made it such a standout, I doubt I'd be able to do so. Trust me, I've tried. There's just something extraordinary about this one. Maybe it was the combination of it being a second chance romance and all that angst. I immersed myself in Roman and Leo's story because there was no other alternative. A story this good and a couple this intense deserve nothing less than my full attention. This was Riley Hart at her best.
At sixteen, Roman Cipriani and Leonardo Mancini had been involved in a secret relationship for a year. They were young and in love. They had plans for a future meant to be spent together. They refused to allow the similarities and differences in their circumstances to bring them down. But things changed when their secret was found out, and a vicious kind of retribution was put into play, tearing Roman and Leo apart. Over the next twelve years, they led separate lives, knowing nothing about what the other was doing. Roman convinced himself that what he and Leo shared was nothing more than a mistake--an aberration that he's worked hard to forget and never repeat. And then Roman is brought to a gay bar and it's there he catches a glimpse of and then locks eyes with the one person he never thought he'd see again--the one person who changed his life in the best and worst ways possible twelve years ago--eyes that once looked at him with love now filled with hate.
Roman and Leo's story is, at times, heartrending to read, whether it be Roman's back story or how in love and hopeful they had been as teenagers only to have everything ripped apart. This book comes with trigger warning, specifically those having to do with homophobia and familial violence. Without giving too much away, one of the main characters suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and repressed emotions and memories. For a great deal of the book, the intensity is there but right beneath the surface, almost as if the reader is waiting for everything to come to a head. The author deserves kudos for taking this story in a direction that I wasn't expecting, and the resolution, while a long-time coming given it was all set into motion when Roman and Leo weren't even adults, played out in what I felt was the best possible and most realistic manner. This is a book that I won't soon forget and I hope you experience the same when you discover His Truth. Five-plus stars. ♥
Date Read: 30 March 2018
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