If sappy annoys you, it may not be for you...Personally I do not mind having my SAPPY buttons pushed if I am thoroughly enjoying a story, and I really loved this one.
Carter has Tourette's syndrome, which has made him very shy and fearful of social situations. A lot of times he can't control his body and feeling embarassed all the time is exhausting. This made him decide to move from LA to a small town called Santa Josephina. He bought a home there and since he can work from home the move seems like the right thing. So at 24 he is setttled in more or less pretty comfortable but lonely life.
The day he moves in to his new house he sees a young man in his neighbor's backyard, a really beautiful young man. It turns out the young man is Ethan who lives next door with his parents and teenage brother. He is so beautiful, Carter can't stop looking. But very quickly after talking with Ethan, Carter realizes that there is something different about him.
Ethan received a brain injury almost ten years earlier, which changed his life, mad things more challenging, but Ethan is FULL of life. He does not let those things that make him different keep him from going out in the world and working, making friends and just LIVING.
As soon as Ethan sees Carter he wants him, wants to date him, touch him, kiss him...BE HIS BOYFRIEND. But Carter is cautious, it's a bit scary to think he could be taking advantage of Ethan, or that Ethan could get tired of his awkwardness. Ethan does not give up, he just LOVES Carter, he just does, and it works, and then Carter loves Ethan, and they are so fucking sweet your heart will ache.
It's a lovely story, it really is. Ethan's character is so wonderful. So guileless and open. His world is black and white. He loves, he lives, he says what he wants...and the wants Carter. Man I just loved him. The author did such a respectful and dignified job in writing him. Really well done.
Carter had been so hurt by people's careless teasing and cruelty that he was content with being a lonely life, but with Ethan he got love, and friends and a new way to see himself. Because through Ethan's eyes Carter was everything that was beautiful and graceful.
The secondary characters were outstanding the friends, Ethan's parents, his little brother was such a complex character (so well written), even the bad guys were good.
This book hit the spot for me, LOVED IT. Would reread it in a second, recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good cry and a second chances, beating the odds story.
Seriously loved these men. Get your tissues out. YOU WILL CRY.
Ethan, who loved Carter is for sale at Dreamspinner Press