Friday, January 27, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Trust Trade by Ki Brightly

Release Day Review ~  Trust Trade by Ki Brightly

Title: Trust Trade

Author: Ki Brightly

Release Date: January 27, 2017

Category: Contemporary

Pages: 340

Life hasn’t been good to Jeb Birchman. When he attempted to escape his abusive, zealot father, he found himself on the streets, making a living the only way he knew how, the victim of more violent men—one of whom orchestrates a series of vicious attacks that leave Jeb deaf. Now that he’s aged beyond his latest client’s interest, Jeb knows he needs to escape his risky lifestyle before it’s too late. Seeing one last chance for himself, he earns a GED and enrolls in college.
Freddy Williams enjoys a life that couldn’t be more different from what Jeb has survived. He loves sports, being a personal trainer, and hanging out with friends. The son of deaf parents, Freddy is an outspoken advocate of the Deaf community and works as an interpreter at his college. When he meets Jeb at the bookstore, he’s struck by how attractive he is, and as they get to know each other, he finds Jeb’s good heart just as appealing. By the time he learns of Jeb’s past, it’s only a few steps behind them, and Freddy must make a choice between school and his familiar routine and protecting the man he’s falling in love with.

5 Stars! 

An amazing tale that I hadn't seen coming, but that's a stunning start to 2017 and a great intro to this author.

This tale follows the blurb very closely, it's one where the tale itself is so, so much more than the blurb.

I liked that the author didn't go into TMI over Jeb's past, trauma and injuries, but started the tale at the start of his new life, where he met Freddy, who was like a ray of sunshine to him. I loved how Jeb shyly opened up to the exuberant-in-comparison Freddy, and began to hope that he might have a chance at a normal life. I wouldn't say that this was a slow-burn romance, but it was one where they definitely had barriers to overcome, with Jeb's deafness and lack of knowledge of ASL, his reluctance to trust and to dare to believe, and his hardships. I loved how Freddy became his champion, but that he was also not perfection, as he messed up, unintentionally hurt Jeb and hurt himself in doing so, and that they spent time thinking about things and missing each other badly before one made the first step in getting back to 'them' and the other didn't lie down and invite him back, but that they talked, grew and agreed on how their future needed to be.

There were hints that Jeb's past wasn't all cut and dried and actually in the past, but the way in which it came back into his life was shocking, devastating, painful and pretty brutal. There was also another reveal that I as a parent can't contemplate, but I am so, so glad that the victim had Jeb and Freddie to lean on. There are other events that occur that took me by total surprise, especially when an ally betrayed them in the most horrible way, but Jeb gained mental strength, did something that he needed to do, and came out richer for it in every single way other than financial.

This book ends in the leads starting their HEA and it's one in which I believed in. It was so perfect that I didn't even need to see these guys and their families living said HEA - it was a given that theirs was the kind of romance that'd last the distance.

ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.

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