Show Me How To Love – eARC Review

Title: Show Me How To Love
Author: Ray Celar
Series/Number: Juniper Creek Book 1
Genre: Romance
Age: Adult
Publication Date: June 16, 2022
Themes: Friendship, Homophobia, Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Estranged Family, Friends to lovers, Exploring Sexuality, Reconciliation, Hurt/Comfort

Synopsis:

Avery
Owning my own bookstore had always been my dream, so when my grandma offered for me to buy and take over hers for a steal, the decision had been an easy one and I jumped on it.
The only downside? The store is in my sleepy little hometown of Juniper Creek, the very place I lived through the worst years of my life.
But with my toxic family gone and having no idea of my whereabouts, it’s actually a peaceful and quiet existence — just like I’d always wanted.
Then my big brother’s best friend suddenly moves back to town and threatens to disturb the untroubled life I’ve made here for myself.
There’s only one solution: I have to avoid him at all costs — which proves to be harder than I thought.

Mason
I never wanted to move back to Juniper Creek. I loved Seattle and my job there as a realtor. I was even offered a promotion to take over our high-profile clients.
Then my father had a stroke, decided to retire, and asked me to take over his real estate agency to carry on the family legacy. I couldn’t deny him, could I?
So here I am, back in Juniper Creek and trying to make peace with the turn my life has just taken.
The last thing I expected was to meet my new business neighbor and realize it’s my best friend’s little brother.
While talking about some unresolved issues from the past, I discover he’s a really great guy. A like-minded spirit I definitely want to be friends with. So, I do whatever I can to be around him.
Maybe I’ll even get to find out why my best friend rarely talks about Avery and what happened in their family all those years ago.

“Show Me How to Love” is a hurt/comfort mm romance with approximately 74,000 words featuring an adorable bookstore owner and his big brother’s best friend who slowly realizes he might not be as straight as he thought. It’s the first book in the Juniper Creek series; each book in the series can be read as a standalone. Please check the front matter for content warnings.

Thank you to GayRomanceReviews and Ray Celar for a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book. It was incredibly emotional and sweet at the same time. There is a lot of discussion of abuse, homophobia, physical violence and the results of those things. I really liked how this was talked about. It wasn’t brushed off or mentioned and then forgotten, but it was discussed and treated as something important to the characters and their journey’s.

I also really like that we had an adult figuring out his sexuality for the first time. It was really refreshing to see Mason exploring his feelings and the people around him accepting him regardless of what his feelings were. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Avery and Mason as they slowly got to know each other and open up to each other. The angst that all the characters went through at times hurt my heart in the best way possible.

Overall, if you like a romance that discusses difficult topics, family dynamics, and abuse, this is the book for you!

Rating: 4/5 stars

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