- coming of age
- friends to lovers
- loss and grief
- Hero must goes through a lot just to survive and protect those he loves
- An emotional event that tear hero and heroine apart
An emotional coming of age story. Friends to lover’s romance novel. Instant love connection. This is the first book I have read by this author and I must say I was not disappointed. I have found a new author I love. This book deals with some mature subjects but that’s what makes the emotional journey better.
The hero and heroine, Graham and Apollo met when they were kids. It was an instant friendship of two people whose lives could have been more different. They both deal with have dealt with loss at a young age.
Graham and his mom live with his stepfather who is the leader of a cult in a small town in Nevada. Graham has had to suffer immensely because of this lifestyle. He lost his half-sister because his very religious stepfather wouldn’t let his mom take her to the doctor because the stepfather believed it was God’s way, so she died. And Graham has not been the same since and same with his mom. Graham and his mom are both trapped under the cult leader.
Apollo lost her father and her twin sister Artemis at a young age. But she doesn’t let their death define her. She believes to live her life they way they would have wanted and not dwell on the past. She has a wild, free nature unlike Graham. She also comes from money.
Apollo stumbles upon Graham while on a walk alone. Both instantly form a friendship. They even have cute nicknames for each other. Graham is her star (which I thought was so cute).
Anyways, the stepfather badly abuses Graham at home as punishment for leaving the house after being caught sneaking out through his window to see Apollo. Apollo goes and searches for him and is almost at his house when Graham’s mom grabs Apollo and tells her to deliver her letter and drop it in a mailbox.
The crazy cult leader was going to kill the entire town with poison but the police showed up and arrested the crazy cult soldiers before they could poison the town. Graham and his mom leave and start a new life in LA.
He received a scholarship at a prestigious high school while his mom works. He forms friendships with rich dudes, who have their own books, but they are all hot and called the four horsemen. Graham gets a job as a fitness trainer at a popular gym because of his good looks.
Now, Apollo and Graham have been sending letters to each other which is how they keep in contact. Apollo decides to visit Graham in LA and boy, have both of them grew up. Apollo likes him and makes moves on him but Graham deflects. The reason for this is his mother told him when he is able to provide for the women he loves than he can have sex and kiss her and love her otherwise he should wait till he is able to do that. So, he is waiting.
However, his mother is sick with cancer and he needs the money so he tries to get extra shifts at this gym he is a trainer at. One of the customers gives him a proposition that he cannot refuse and he agrees she will be his agent. Basically, she is pimping him out to rich ladies as a “trainer” but really he sleeps with them for money. He loses his virginity basically to his pimp.
Now this puts a strain on Graham’s and Apollo’s relationship as he is keeping it a secret. On his graduation night she throws herself at him and he rejects her and they get into this big argument. Apollo has met his “agent” and doesn’t like the jealousy she feels or how the agent acts around Graham. So, after the argument Apollo leaves and blocks Graham. Now Graham realizes his mistake and tries to call her the next day but nope – no answer. Apollo does what she always planned to do which was travel and open an art gallery and not wait for Graham anymore.
Years later, Graham is still doing what he was doing before but he’s got a huge following on Instagram as being one of the top fitness trainers in LA and he is part of a reality TV show. He finally has had enough of that lifestyle and fires his agent and gets himself a new one that doesn’t pimp him out and is legit in furthering along his career as an actor.
Hoping to bury this secret tries to break off connection with his ex-agent. His mom is also dying and she leaves to go on a cruise to live her life to the fullest. Graham realizes that he wants Apollo back so he goes and searches for her.
Now Apollo was dating this random dude but she broke up with him, but he needed her to be his date at this event and so she agreed. This event is where she meets Graham again. And they try to rekindle their relationship, but we know that his big secret can’t be kept long enough. So as predicted his secret comes out and all hell breaks loose.
And Apollo must decide if Graham is worth it.
But this is a coming-of-age story where these characters have gone through traumatic experiences that have shaped them. I can’t be mad at Graham because from his perspective he did what he had to do and I can’t fault him for that. Graham has suffered so much loss in his life that I think he deserves a break.
Dylan’s writing makes these events seem so real as if she is writing from experience or something. I actually thought this book was based on a true story for a minute – no gonna lie. But I did like Dylan Allen’s writing style and her ideas. This book was an emotional journey of loss and climbing out a dark pit. The ending was perfect and a nice conclusion to their story. I’m going to read more books from this author so stay tuned for more reviews!
- Drama Level 4/5
- Cover 4/5
- Steam Level 4/5
- Rating 4/5
- Would I read again? Yes