Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Release Day Review: Yanni's Story by N.R. Walker

Yanni's Story
N.R. Walker
Release Date; Aug 28, 2017


When Yanni Tomaras is kicked out of his family home, his parents’ final words are religious insults and an order to never return. Homeless and desperate, he’s lured in by Lance—charming on the outside, an evil predator underneath—who abuses Yanni until he finds the courage to leave.

Yanni should feel free. But by the time Spencer Cohen finds him, he’s resigned to being handed back to Lance and once again being caged by fear.

Starting school and a part-time job, Yanni begins to reclaim his life. But a love for silent films leads him to Peter Hannikov, a man with a kind heart but who’s twice his age. An unlikely friendship between them blooms into so much more. Neither man knows what he wants, at first. Finding out exactly what he needs is Yanni’s story.

“I’d spent years as a bird, caged with my wings clipped, tormented and beaten.
I thought I’d escaped when I’d left my abuser, but in hindsight, I could see that I was still caged, this time by fear and self-doubt.

Spencer and Andrew, and Andrew’s parents, opened the door to the cage that confined me.
But it was Peter who taught me how to fly

4.5 Stars!!!

Yanni's Story is technically part of The Spencer Cohen Series, but it can be read as a standalone. However, I do suggest reading the warnings first, since this book deals with some themes that might not be for everyone. 

We met Yanni in The Spencer Cohen Series when Spencer was hired by Yanni's ex to find him. When Spencer found Yanni, he realized there was more to the story than what Lance had told him and he decided to help Yanni, along with Andrew (Spencer's boyfriend) and Andrew's parents. Yanni had been disowned by his parents and fallen into an abusive relationship with Lance, the Landon's practically adopt him and with their contacts, he gets back to school, a safe place to live in and a part-time job, starting to claim his life back. Meeting Peter Hannikov—a man twice his age and has been burned recently and isn't looking for a relationship—and striking an easy friendship with him due to their mutual love for silent films, isn't what he expects, but soon it becomes everything he never knew he wanted.

I'm not going to lie, Yanni's story is heartbreaking. I imagine a lot of LGBT kids that are thrown from their houses can easily fall prey of men like Lance, who seem charming at first, but turn into monsters as the time goes by. I loved that Ms. Walker showed us that there's hope for these kids through foundations that seek to help them in any way they can. Unfortunately, there's usually more kids than space in those foundations, but every little bit helps, I guess, and it's good to bring attention (and donations) to them so they can keep up with the help they provide. 

I loved Yanni and it was amazing to see his journey as he worked to get his life back again, to be able to face his fears, even when there were setbacks, and to emerge triumphant on the other side. He had help, of course, therapy, his friends and his chosen family, who were just amazing and supportive. But above all, he had Peter and their friendship that slowly turned into more. May-December is not for everyone and neither is Daddy kink, but if you decide to give this book a chance, rest assured that it's done with the excellence that N.r. Walker has us used to in her previous books and it doesn't overtake the story.

Peter was awesome, sweet and patient, happy to provide Yanni with the support and love he needed to rebuild his life. He never pressured him, content with waiting forever if he needed. And truly, despite the age difference, Yanni and Peter fit together quite well. Yanni was mature for his age and he wasn't looking for hooking up or clubbing, and Peter was respectful of his opinions and desires. They just belonged together. 

I loved the Landon's, Spencer and Andrew, Sara, Patrice and Yanni's housemates and it was really satisfying to see a fitting ending for Lance. 😈

This is a slow burn, mostly because Yanni needed to heal before anything could develop between him and Peter. The progression was realistic and the writing was sublime. The book is long, but it's worth every single word. I definitely recommend this book, just remember to mind the warnings, they are there for a reason. 

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

Author Bio:

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.
She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words. She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things... but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since...

Contact N.R. Walker

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