3.75 (Almost a 4) Pants Off
After filing charges that put his abusive ex-Dom behind bars, Jesse Turbul relocates halfway across the country, hoping to escape his past—but, of course, it's never that easy. When Jesse meets third-year law student Aadon at the library where he works, their mutual attraction is instant and obvious.
Despite the sparks, they just can't seem to make it work. Aadon is mired in guilt over his inability to help his older brother, damaged by events far too similar to Jesse’s past. Jesse is stuck in his own desperate wish to forget the painful shadow that continues to threaten him and any hope of a happy future.
The only way to move forward is for Jesse to acknowledge he’s broken and for Aadon to accept he can’t make him better.
Better is about two men both with a similar past, and trying to make this thing called love work. Jesse a submissive who got the shitty end of the stick with an abusive Dom. Aadon a man who has witnessed the toll rape and abuse can have on a person, his older brother is the victim of that.
Jesse is still mentally/physically suffering from the abuse even years later, and is questioning if he will ever feel for another again. When Aadon appears in his life Jesse finds himself very attracted to the man but fears he is too broken to be anything good for Aadon. They both work to try and find a common ground, but it’s not always easy to meet in the middle.
I really liked Jesse he was a solid character and very believable in his pain. The author really did a wonderful thing in making him accept that he does have a problem and doesn’t pretend as if all is right. Aadon also realizes that he’s not exactly perfect when handling Jesse, and he might be putting his issue with his brother unto him. They’re all very angst, but believable angst.
I did have a few problems with the book, which kept it from being a complete 4 Pants off. I am telling you these boys were hitting the books hard, but unless I missed something *hmm* did they ever attend class? I heard about the classes but never read about them being in class. I don’t know about you, but that really adds to the college atmosphere. I also couldn’t handle the ranting these went on when they got in the mood. I get it you have problems and I appreciate that you realize it but… simmer down on explaining it.
Although Aadon’s brother Ricky was a minor character he really left an impact on me. I think I will remember his character a lot longer than I will Aadon/Jesse. I would love him to have a book of his own book and find some healing. With the level of abuse he suffered, and his mental state. I’m thinking the book would be all kinds of epic, because sex has the power to hurt but it also has the power to heal *real talk*.
Overall, I liked this one. This was my first book by Jaime Samms and will not be my last. I really enjoyed the writing, the pacing was good and I gobbled it all up in a day or so. You should check this one out if you are looking for an emotionally rich story with solid characters. The mother in me really cried for a young Ricky, and that was the hardest part in reading Better. Otherwise, I enjoyed it but not as much as I had hoped.
3 1/2 Pants Off with .25 More