When an affluent college-bound boy falls for a young artist, he must choose between the life that’s been mapped out for him and the chance at true love.
I truly enjoyed this story. I liked the Journey Lucky and Aaron went on as they figured out how to be together openly and honestly. Through all of their ups and downs you could tell these two truly loved each other. Even if they both had problems to overcome to get there, their love came shining through this story.
I really liked Aaron. My heart hurt for him and all the pressure he was under to live up to his dad’s expectations. Everyone around him had plans for him and things he was supposed to do. His desperation of never making a choice all on his own for himself was so clear. That bleak feeling I felt with him. Watching him fall for Lucky, but not know how to handle those feelings or if he is even allowed to feel them was bittersweet. However once he let go and allowed himself to be who he is I was amazed at who he was. He was such a wonderful man when he got here.
I loved Lucky. He was such a sweetheart from the beginning. I loved his optimism and positive look at life. His mom was a downer and how Lucky reacted to her as his relationship with Aaron grew and changed was interesting. It showed where he was on the emotional journey to adulthood. I loved the art show. I knew his professor would pick those specific pictures and it was so fun to read Lucky’s reaction.
One thing I wanted to see was a break from the “coming out story” mold. I could see it coming and I so wanted there to be something different and I kept hoping right up until everything happened. However it didn’t happen and afterwards I realized something. For this story and these characters it wouldn’t work. Aaron wasn’t ready. He needed all of that to happen for him to realize his wants mattered. He wasn’t ready to make decisions on his own and stand up for himself yet. If what I wanted had happened I don’t think I would have wound up liking the story as much as I did. It wouldn’t have been true to the characters in the story.
My one and only true issue with the story was the part where Lucky and Aaron are together in college is very rushed. The story of them meeting in the summer and their budding romance is so well done. It’s fleshed out and we see so much of their emotions and how they get to know each other. That second section of the book, the “post” as I’ll call it, needed a bit more fleshing out and more on page relationship building. I wanted to see them rebuild their relationship and fall in love again. I wanted to see on page more of Aaron gaining confidence in his own mind and decisions he makes.
This story is a fabulous coming out, coming of age that I really hope has a sequel at some point. I want more Lucky and Aaron.
I’m very excited to have Aaron stop by today. He talks about where he wants to be in five years. His goals are simple, but for everything Aaron has struggled with they are perfect goals for himself and Lucky, and completely obtainable too. Read and enjoy!
In five years, I think Lucky and I might be married. We keep tossing the idea around and he seems really serious about it. I also hope to have graduated from college and figured out what I want to do with my life. I’m pretty sure Lyn and Richard will have had at least two kids by then and she says Lucky and I are gonna be the godparents. I can’t fathom it, but it could work.
They found a secluded spot to sit off the main drag and scarfed down pieces of pizza and people-watched. Aaron had been full of nerves earlier, but Lucky put him at ease. He had that way about him.
“I’ve got a few minutes left,” Lucky said when they finished their food.
They got up, sipping at their drinks as they made their way through the crowd back toward Lucky’s booth. It was now or never. He had to ask, had to get the words out, or miss his shot.
“Can I ask you something?” Lucky spoke up before Aaron could. Maybe Lucky would… Aaron held his breath, nodding. “It might sound weird.”
“Sure,” Aaron replied, his heart beating a little faster. He had no idea what was coming now; what could Lucky possibly want from him? A kiss?
“Can you take your picture for me?”
Aaron blinked at him. Lucky tilted his head off to one side and Aaron turned his head the same direction. His gaze landed on a photo booth, realization sinking in. His mouth fell open, unsure what to say. It was a little weird because they barely knew each other, but also flattering.
“I’d really like to draw you again.” Lucky seemed slightly embarrassed. “I mean, I could take pictures on my phone if that’s better for you, but that seemed creepier somehow.”
Aaron couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped at Lucky’s words, even as the idea of Lucky drawing him again and again left him breathless. “Um,” he managed to get out, glancing around at the crowd. A familiar blonde head caught his eye and he nearly choked.
Was Lyn at the carnival? Wasn’t she supposed to be with their mothers?
Aaron pulled Lucky by the hand into the photo booth and slid the curtain shut.
Lucky slid money into the slot as they sat down. His breath caught as Lucky’s hands touched his face gently. “Like this,” Lucky whispered, turning his head to the side. The camera flashed. Lucky’s fingers turned his head to the front, pulling away just in time for the camera to go off again. Once again, Lucky’s fingers turned his head to the side, only now he was facing Lucky, staring deeply into his eyes.
Aaron tried not to hyperventilate as he held Lucky’s gaze. The camera flashed for the last time but neither of them moved.
“Go out with me?” Aaron suddenly blurted out. He had to do something or he might do something even more insane, like kiss Lucky. Aaron so wasn’t ready for that yet. Lucky’s eyes widened and he smiled.
“Sure,” Lucky drawled after a moment. “When?”
Kitty Stephens’ writing aspirations date back to her childhood, when she and her brother would make up stories about characters in their favorite books. She eventually started writing stories in online fan communities, and majored in English at Ohio State University. She lives in Ohio with her husband and son. Set Me Free is her first novel.
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10-Jun: Oh My Shelves, Bonkers About Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
13-Jun: Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Unquietly Me, A.M. Leibowitz
14-Jun: BFD Book Blog, Velvet Panic, My Fiction Nook
15-Jun: Anna Butler Fiction, Three Books Over The Rainbow, MM Good Book Reviews
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17-Jun: The Novel Approach, V’s Reads, Prism Book Alliance
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21-Jun: Nephy Hart, Love Bytes
22-Jun: Alpha Book Club, Molly Lolly, Divine Magazine
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