Life was harsh and cruel to Kaleb Xander from very early on, and he was never given a moment’s rest to breathe and recover from the misery. Once freed from years in a cage of wrath and perverted lust, he found the real world to be a mere step up from what he was used to. Abuse was simply coming in different guises and through new avenues now.
All it should take is one person to reach out their hand and save this lost soul – but Kaleb is more complicated than that. It’ll take a miracle, and he’s banking on someone to be just that for him before he gives it all up.
Warning: This book is a dark gay romance. It also contains graphic language, sexually explicit content, drug use, discussion of child abuse, and violent situations. Intended for adult audiences only. Not intended for anyone under the age of 18. This book depicts a long portion of the main character's younger life and also contains bisexuality with the relationship on the page as a significant part of the plot.
This is a previously released work. The publisher has been changed. It has been extensively re-edited and revised.
5-star review from Love Bytes Reviews:
"I don’t want to give too many spoilers because the book is just so damn good, and I really want you to read it. Kaleb’s story, as I said is dark, very dark. Knowing some heroin addicts personally, through a program I used to work with, I can say that the author did a fantastic job in writing the character of Kaleb. I instantly felt a rapport with this kid and really grew to care about him, hoping things would change for the better...The book is quite long, and sometimes Kaleb makes some decisions that you just want to reach into the book and shake him for…but that’s all I’m saying. I could go on and on. I absolutely loved this book. It took me to places that weren’t always comfortable. It definitely isn’t one of the genre typical bubblegum stories, so if you’re looking for one of those….skip this book…you definitely wouldn’t understand it anyway. For everyone else, I can’t more highly recommend this book. I will definitely keep it to read again."
Kaleb looked over. Trent sat right next to him, and he blinked. He leaned over and poked at the man's arm lightly, snickering before he bit his lip, looking up at Trent with the same broad grin.
"You are so drunk, dude," Trent said with one of his damned dimpled grins.
For once, Kaleb didn't have the filter to stop himself from reaching up and poking his index finger into the soft cave.
"What are you doing?"
"Poking your dimple, dude. They're really deep…" Kaleb trailed off, the pad of his finger pressing against Trent's cheek as their eyes met. Kaleb blinked slowly and his head canted, his tongue sliding over his bottom lip in a quick movement that almost seemed
sluggish in his mind. He'd forgotten they were anywhere. He was just… staring, and he couldn't stop.
Jeff's voice was far away, somewhere to the left, but Kaleb couldn't look away from the deep mirrors of Trent's eyes. He was caught, helplessly so, and he wasn't so sure it was a bad thing anymore. He dropped his hand from Trent's face and glanced over his shoulder to a curious-looking Jeff.
"Gimme another, would ya, Jeff?" he asked, looking down once Jeff nodded slowly.
When he heard the 'clink' of the glass against the bar, he looked up with a smile before downing the next shot, too.
"You sure you need any more?" Trent teased.
Kaleb laughed, shaking his head and leaning his arm against Trent's, letting his head loll against Trent's shoulder as he grinned up. "Yes, I honestly think I need more. I can still think, and that… that means I haven't had enough yet, don't ya know?" Kaleb replied with a wider grin, laying his head on the bar and looking up at Trent with wide eyes, batting his lashes in an over exaggerated gesture. Trent laughed out in a husky burst, and Kaleb's expression only widened. "I… like your laugh."
"I like yours, too," Trent said, smiling as Jeff slid his beer to him. He grabbed it and took a swig, but Kaleb reached out and got the glass, pulling it away from Trent with a grin and taking a swig of it before handing it back. The bouncer laughed and shook his head. "You are something else."
"So… I've been told," Kaleb said with a nod. He was a bit more out of his mind tonight, wasn't he? He was completely comfortable with his half-lying position, looking up at Trent and Jeff through his lashes.
Trent leaned closer and smiled. Kaleb could feel the man's breath against his cheek, and it made him shiver and bite his lip. "You really are too cute when you're like this."
The husky murmur made his spine straighten. He lifted his head off the bar, looking over slowly. Their gazes connected again, and he swallowed hard, cocking his head to the side as he exhaled sharply through parted lips.
"Thanks." He kept his gaze on Trent's, letting himself get momentarily lost in the color. "Your eyes are really, really pretty."
"Yours are, too."
Trent's voice was so low, it seemed to be hitting octaves which coincided with the nerves in Kaleb's back because another shiver chased the first one. Kaleb's mouth went dry, his breathing picked up, and he did nothing to try and regulate it. His heart beat hard against his ribcage, and he wondered whether bones could bruise. The thought was absurd, of course they could bruise. He'd have bruises on his ribs from this.
"Would you kiss me again?" Kaleb asked.
Jesus, his voice was deep, too, and the slur had disappeared as their gazes stayed locked. He fleetingly called it eye-fucking. They were just locked in each other's gazes, and it was painfully cliché.
"Hell yeah." The way Trent spoke, with the slightest hint of a California accent, made Kaleb bite his lip and move closer to the man. He didn't care right now.
Trent reached down and grabbed Kaleb's hand, knocking him out of his trance. Before he could process what was going on, he was pulled to his feet and directed toward the restrooms near the door. He didn't question, really, except for his confused expression, but went with Trent anyway.
The second the door shut behind them, Trent's lips were on his again. Kaleb groaned before pressing head-on into it, not even stopping to catch his breath as their hard bodies crashed together. He pinned Trent to the wall, feeling the man arch up with a guttural groan which got his blood racing and made his head spin.
Trent's hands held tightly onto his biceps, and he was gripping Trent's forearms as he pulled the bouncer closer, their chests pressed together without an inch of room. Trent dragged him into one of the stalls and pinned him lightly to the wall, but not backward, so it was okay. He kissed back fervently, messily, but it didn't matter because Trent's hand slid between them, rubbing an erection he didn't even know he had.
He arched and moaned, breaking the kiss to look at Trent through heavy lids.
Thoughts were nowhere in sight, and he craved this contact for some strange reason. Reason was suspended now, and only his body was calling the shots.