Release Review: Gone For You: Riley Hart

Gone For You (Wild Side #1)
Riley Hart
Add to Goodreads 
Buy Amazon/B&N/iTunes/Kobo
Expected February 6, 2017

Oliver Hayes wears his heart on his sleeve, and his friends never let him forget it. Every Friday night spent at Wild Side, their favorite West Hollywood bar, Oliver’s lack of hookups becomes the hot topic. It’s not that he doesn’t want a good time. He just wants it to *mean* something, which is a lofty goal when he’s still pining after his childhood crush, Matt, who left ten years ago to start a new life in New York City.

Matt Daniels has always felt most at home seated at a piano. He might not have entirely fit in with his family and friends, but he was always able to find himself in music. Or at least he did before he gave up his dream a lifetime ago. Now, he has a successful modeling career and should be enjoying every second of it. Yet nothing feels right, and Matt fears he’s losing himself.

Just when Oliver decides to get over Matt for good, Matt waltzes back into LA. As Matt struggles to understand what he’s missing in his seemingly perfect life, he falls right back into leaning on Oliver for support. Things aren’t what they used to be between them, though. They tumble into bed together, and it’s hard not to continue ending up there. For the first time in years, Matt’s inspired to compose again, reigniting a spark he thought long extinguished.

But as always, Oliver can’t keep his heart in check, and soon Matt realizes he’s gone for Oliver too. The biggest question is, can he fully give himself to someone if he still hasn’t figured out how to love himself?
Oliver and Matt have been best friends and have grown up together with their other two friends, Chase and Miles. But by the time they were eighteen, it was obvious that Oliver had a huge crush and strong feelings for Matt. But their lives underwent a big change as Matt left California to try to make his own way as a musician.

For ten years, Matt stayed in New York and found some success in modeling, while the other three stayed near LA and continued to be close. Matt's visits and communication became less and less. But Matt is now realizing that he is not enjoying his career, his life, his relationship, and is generally not happy. So he decides to return to California for a visit.

Oliver is the heart of their group. He is kind, loyal, protective, and a good friend. He has always had anything he ever wanted, except for Matt, and he has managed to follow his dreams of becoming a successful author. He is a bit uptight and is looking for a real relationship instead of being a playboy like some of his friends. Matt coming home shakes up their core group, because the others worry that Matt will hurt him.

Matt is struggling, lost, and empty. He has issues with self worth and not feeling good enough. He can put on a facade when he needs to, but underneath is anxious, unhappy, and floundering. He left to prove that he could make something of himself on his own, without Oliver always helping him, but he feels like a failure since he gave up his music. Oliver has been his anchor and sometimes savior who he alternately appreciates, resents, or is envious of. He does not like the rely on anyone. He tries to keep his emotions on lock down and puts distance between those that should be closest to him.  He both needs Oliver, but also pushes him away.

Oliver has always seen the potential and best in Matt even when Matt cannot. He thinks Oliver just always wants to take care of him or fix him, but believes he is not good enough. Oliver and music were always his center, but he has let them both fall to the wayside.

As they get closer and eventually cross some boundaries, their secrets and issues keep coming more and more to light. They have a deep connection, history, and a bond that has never fully been broken. Their feelings are intense, confusing, and scary. But they are also able to analyze or push the other to get answers. But will raw honesty and hard truths help them or hurt them?

They both have issues they need to fix themselves if they want a chance at a balanced relationship. No matter how much they care, the other problems are not magically going to go away. But that will also involve admitting to and owning the real issues, and then finding the inner strength to do what needs to be done. They had their work cut out for them and could be quite frustrating with their communication issues and self doubt. 

This was emotional, sweet, sexy, and had a dynamic group of friends with strong ties and a sense of camaraderie.  I liked the side characters of the flashy, playboy, dancer, Chance, and the outspoken, workaholic defense attorney, Miles. They really cared about Oliver and were protective of him. They considered Matt a friend too, but were also wary and untrusting. And Matt did not always feel like he fully belonged due to circumstances and then distance. It was full of doubt, angst, insecurity, and fear.

I am looking forward to Miles' book.  I am already excited about the sneak peek into his match since he is familiar.  It was also fun to get a bit with Dare and Austin from the prequel Dare You To since Dare owns the Wild Side bar that the guys hang out in. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Dare You To (Wild Side 0.5)
Add to Goodreads
Buy Amazon

Austin Thompson spends most of his spare time reading or logging in extra hours at the LGBTQ youth center where he works. His only standing “night out,” if you can call it that, is his weekly movie night with his best friend, Dare Nichols. Between work and Dare, it’s hard to find time for much else, so when he does actually try to date, it ends in disaster.

Dare thrives on living life on the wild side—surfing, mountain biking, sky diving. If it’s extreme, he’s game. Between sports and spending his evenings at his West Hollywood bar, Dare never sees a dull moment. Still, with all that excitement, most of his favorite times are when he’s tucked away in Austin’s apartment. Probably because he’s the only best friend Dare’s ever had.

Then the kiss happens and the men realize they don’t want to stop there. As they explore this new adventure in their relationship, Austin realizes the excitement he’s been looking for has been right there all along, and and Dare has to decide if he can conquer his only fear by risking his heart. 

Previously published in the anthology, IT WAS ALWAYS YOU.
Also a prequel of sorts to the Wild Side series. 

Riley Hart
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. 

She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores. She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine, while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves. Life is good. 

Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...