This books starts with Simeon preparing to rebuild his life after treatment at a rehab facility. While he is prepared to fight his addiction to drugs and alcohol, he sticks with his usual pattern of quick hookups and generally meaningless sex. It's all he has ever known. And since he could never have his best friend, he has never wanted anything more with anyone.
Until he meets Bastian Roth. Bastian is grieving for a lost lover and struggling to move on. After a rough start, the two start building a relationship.
So far, so good. And then it turned less good! The secrets that come out later regarding people in Bastian's past were just too much. I struggled not to roll my eyes.
After some drama, the ending was sweet enough.
Normally, I would just mark it as read, enter my rating and move on. But I have an agreement with myself that if I go lower than three stars, I write something to explain why.
The main reason I cannot give a higher rating was a couple of things that annoyed me with the writing. It was repetitive in how many times Sim was pouting and in how he was constantly referred to as 'the male model'. First of all, he's a man and he's a model. You do not need the 'male' mentioned every time. Secondly, this reference created an odd distance; Bastian wasn't just looking at 'him' or at 'Sim' - he was looking at the male model sitting on the couch opposite. Like he was some stranger. (I made this example up to try and explain the issue, not sure if there was ever a scene exactly like that).
Even worse were the non-English dialogue parts. There was German in there and there was French. And not just a word here or there but complete sentences which were then translated into English in brackets after the non-English parts. So you fly over the parts you don't understand to get to the translation. And if you do understand the German or French, you tend to still read the English so you read the same text twice. It completely ruins the flow and there are much more elegant ways to describe that a character says something in another language.
Last but not least: If you need to put something in there in a different language, do have someone edit it who actually speaks that language. I don't know about the French but the German was cringeworthy and downright abysmal. Just throwing German lines in there and not making the effort to make sure they are correct? Well, to be honest, to me it feels disrespectful somehow.