Thursday, April 30, 2015

Nobody's Hero by J. Leigh Bailey

Nobody's Hero (Letting Go, #1)*** 1/2

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.


Bradley Greene has just landed in his new college town…3 months early.  Going back home for the summer between military school and his freshman year wasn’t an option for him.  Instead he is living in his truck and hoping the interview set by one of his previous teachers will end up in a job that will get him through the summer.  While spending his (hopefully) last evening in his truck at a truck stop, he witnesses the first moments of a sexual assault.  Brad is scared to intervene but he knows he can’t sit by and do nothing.  So he utilizes his military school training and steps in before anything can happen.  When he tries to go back to his truck, the guy he helped out, Danny, invites him into the truck stop diner for a coffee while he waits for a ride home.  Danny is super cute, super nice and openly gay.  Brad is in awe.  The idea that a young gay man can be so open and have family and friends that accept him is beyond his comprehension. He takes their coffee “date” as an opportunity to be who he is if only for a short time.  He doesn’t come out to Danny but he allows himself to have a carefree conversation with a man that he finds very attractive.  Something he’s never allowed himself before.

Danny Ortega is amused and thrilled to see Brad interviewing for a job at his father’s construction company.  He is even more thrilled that Brad is taking the apartment above his parent’s garage.  What he doesn’t find amusing is Brad’s refusal to even consider going on an actual date.   Fortunately, the more time Brad spends with Danny’s family the more comfortable he becomes with the idea of pursuing a relationship with Danny.  But Brad’s family and experiences have done a real number on him.  He might be willing to date Danny but he sure isn’t willing to let the world know about them.   Danny might be falling in love with Brad but he also knows that both he and Brad are worth more than that.

When Brad’s family try to force him to return home and leave behind the people that have quickly become his true family and support system, he has to decide if will continue running from his problems or if he will turn back around and face them head on while giving Danny and himself what they both want
I thought this is an absolutely lovely New Adult story.  As to be expected, Brad’s story and approach to life provides plenty of angst.  But that angst is tempered by the unconditional love and happiness provided by Danny and everyone in his family.  Watching Brad observe the Ortegas and slowly realize that not only should he be allowed to be himself but that he also has a whole new family welcoming him with open arms is heartwarming.   

I enjoyed this book greatly.  Not only is it a good NA story, it is (in my opinion) a fantastic introduction to m/m romance.  If you are looking for a slightly angsty but mostly sweet romance featuring a couple cute and sexy heroes you will enjoy this as well.


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