Length: 62,991 words
Cover Design: Bree Archer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Can he step out of the shadows and into love’s light?
Eight years ago, Christian Hernandez moved to Jamaica Plain in southern Boston, took refuge in his apartment, and cut himself off from the outside world. And that’s how he’d like it to stay.
Josh Wendell has heard his coworkers gossip about the occupant of apartment #1. No one sees the mystery man, and Josh loves a mystery. So when he is hired to refurbish the apartment’s kitchen and bathrooms, Josh is eager to discover the truth behind the rumors.
When he comes face-to-face with Christian, Josh understands why Christian hides from prying eyes. As the two men bond, Josh sees past his exterior to the man within, and he likes what he sees. But can Christian find the courage to emerge from the darkness of his lonely existence for the man who has claimed his heart?
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For the sake of this review I’m going to assume you’re familiar with K.C. Wells’ books and the way she writes wonderful, imaginative and very hot romances. Well, Out of the Shadows is certainly wonderful as well as imaginative. This however is a title in Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun Desires series and as such there isn’t a whole lot of on page sex. However, when these two men do show us what they get up to in the bedroom they are most definitely very hot together.
But, sex is not what this story is about. This is the touching tale of a man in his early thirties who’s lived as a recluse for the past eight years, hiding from the world and rarely interacting with anyone unless it is via email or telephone. Christian has been doing this for so long and has organised his life so well that he’s half convinced himself that life as he lives it is enough. And he needs to believe that because he can’t imagine living his life any other way.
Enter Josh. He’s been curious about the man living in apartment #1, the man nobody has ever seen; the man all sorts of weird theories are spun around. So when his employer sends him to do work inside that apartment, Josh is excited that finally the mystery will be resolved. Except that there is no sign of the inhabitant when he lets himself into the apartment.
Slowly contact is made, be it through a closed and locked door at first, but it isn’t long before Josh sees Christian face to face and realises why the man has been hiding (no I’m not going to reveal the reason). Now his mission changes from finding out who the mystery man is to helping Christian come out of his self-imposed isolation.
Josh’s arrival makes Christian resent his solitary existence. He’d convinced himself he could live his life more or less as a recluse, but having Josh in his apartment, interacting with him, forces him to take a closer look at his non-life and realise that he does want to do more than just survive. He wants to live again and maybe even love while he’s at it.
And so Christian, encouraged and supported by Josh, starts on a slow but unstoppable journey back into the world. It’s a beautiful process of small steps and huge courage. Josh was a marvel; I adored him. The way he very slowly coaxes Christian out of his self-imposed isolation was an utter delight to witness. As for Christian, it is impossible not to feel for him, just as I couldn’t stop myself from cheering every time he took another step outside his comfort zone.
Now, before you think this is an angst-filled and heavy story, allow me to reassure you. While Out of the Shadows certainly has a storyline that will touch you deeply, it is also a fun and at times laugh-out-loud funny story. What’s not to enjoy about two men who are huge Harry Potter fans (or should I say nerds). Throw in Joss’s friends and you have more than enough lighthearted moments to balance out Christian’s issues. I can honestly say I enjoyed every single sentence in this book.
In short, Out of the Shadows is a sweet, heartwarming, and uplifting story that will leave you with a huge smile on your face. It is exactly the sort of read I find myself in need of these days.
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….
K.C. loves to hear from readers.
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