Title: A Life Without You
Author: Erica Pike
Publisher: MLR Press
Characters: Jesse Jefferson, Adam Maxwell
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Jesse’s like a bar of soap: the tighter Adam holds on, the faster Jesse slips away. Or that’s how it feels to Adam. It doesn’t help that Jesse has a girlfriend back home and claims to be straight, but there’s no way with all the sparks and physical intimacy flying between the two roommates.
When Adam believes he has reached his ultimate happiness, the bedroom walls come crashing down with a visit from Jesse’s girlfriend.
Now Jesse has to decide if he can come to terms with his sexuality, while Adam has to learn to accept that Jesse might never be able to crawl out of the closet.
Adam has had a hard time keeping a college roommate. Once the roommate finds out he’s gay, they soon move out, leaving Adam alone. Adam is caught off guard when the handsome and very likeable, Jesse, moves in with him. Try as he might, Adam can’t bring himself to tell Jesse he’s gay, preferring to keep it a secret so he can be around Jesse as much as possible. One night after a long night of partying, the truth comes out, and to Adam’s relief, Jesse seems to take the news in stride. But, from Jesse’s questions and by some of the body language that Adam receives from him, Adam starts to believe that Jesse might be attracted to him as well.
With this attraction comes problems. For one thing, Jesse is engaged to be married and has no intention of leaving his fiancée. Jesse wants to have the wife, white picket fence and handful of kids, and being gay or bisexual in Jesse’s mind will not allow him to achieve these things. Even though Adam knows this, he can’t help but hope that in time the feelings that keep growing and developing between them will bring Jesse of the closet so they can someday build a life together. But, as time goes by and when Jesse’s girlfriend arrives, Adam starts to truly understand that Jesse really may never chose to be with him. Will time and a lot of patience from Adam be what Jesse needs for him to come out of the closet and be with the man he truly loves, or will he succeed in pushing Adam away and out of his life forever?
A Life Without You is a wonderful read. As soon as I began this book the characters and fast-paced storyline kept this reader’s attention until I finished the very last word. I experienced every emotion while I read this book. There were times I laughed out loud, fussed angrily at some of the characters’ behaviors and used a tissue or two because of the heartbreak and sadness Adam experienced throughout the story. All in all I really loved this book and I hated to see it come to an end.
The main characters, Adam and Jesse, are not perfect heroes. The story is told through Adam’s eyes and through his point of view, and although I found Adam to be a very likeable hero, he’s certainly not perfect. He has his flaws. He makes mistakes, but the love and devotion he has for Jesse was truly beautiful to see. There were MANY times I thought Jesse didn’t deserve Adam’s love, but in the end, Jesse ends up being a hero worthy of Adam’s love, so in the end, it was worth the heart wrenching journey and the roller coaster ride it took for the two characters to get there.
Unfortunately, there will be some people who will not like this book because there is some cheating involved. Remember, Jesse is engaged to be married and while he’s going through his bullheaded, tormented time of trying to figure out how he needed to live his life, he sleeps with his fiancée while he’s secretly with Adam. Now, normally I do NOT like to read about cheating heroes, but because I loved Adam and understood that Jesse had really allowed his life to get out of control, I was able to overlook it and not allow this to ruin the story for me. I truly hope that people will give this book a chance and not automatically refuse to read it because of the cheating and the whole ‘girl cootie’ aspect of it. Both Jesse and Adam go through A LOT of character development as the story progresses and I loved watching them both change into smarter, mature men.
I also loved the secondary characters in the story. Ms. Pike is really able to make all of her characters live and breathe off of the written page. I’m anxiously looking forward to reading the next book in the series and other books written by this author. If you are looking for a well-written romance with likeable and humanly flawed characters that have to work hard for their happy ending, A Life Without You is definitely the book for you!!
Reviewed By: Gabbi