This was truly a gorgeous book, at a time when I was in the mood for a wallow into escapism. During the UK lockdown, there seems to be a lot of that. Books I might have found a little cloying, now just hit the spot.
Because this is a truly romantic story. And yes, the premise is a little far-fetched. Boy meets boy, they are torn apart, boy spends 12 years judging every relationship by the boy he met on a summer fling, boy goes to find boy and finds the attraction is still mutual.
But you know what? I think this year so far (2020) has taught us that life can be far-fetched. In January, we didn't know Covid-19 would have a such a major impact on all our lives, but it has. Therefore, it's churlish to be sniffy over the overtly romantic nature of a love story.
Basically, I loved it, and I hope you do too. Noah travels half way round the world to track down Spiro, the boy he could never forget. The book is drenched in faded summer memories, like an old photograph of when we were all young, smiling and innocent. The period setting, the extreme views of the parents, the secret meetings, it all felt very real.
Then move forward 12 years, and Noah has gone to Greece to find Spiro. Again, the reader can almost smell the hot earth, the olive trees, feel the heat of the sun prickling their skin.
This is a divine story, one to wallow in, one to enjoy when we can't travel ourselves. Find a sunny spot, mix up some sangria and lose yourself in this book. It will be worth it, I swear to you.
And the sex is off the scale too. Very hot, very sweaty, very real. Noah and Spiro make a very credible couple. I would love this to be made into a movie, for the romance, for the sex, for the awkward re-igniting of their relationship. It's all kinds of wonderful.
Definitely a fun read for the summer.
First love can save you … and ruin you …
Eighteen-year-old Noah Rothenberg spent the perfect summer with his first love, the charming and
seductive Spiro. He fell head over heels in love from what started as a clumsy crush. But that was twelve years ago. His relationships since have been spectacular failures because of how things ended with Spiro. If he has any hope of moving forward, he needs to find Spiro and get some closure … even if he has to fly halfway around the world to do it. Too bad he instead finds himself falling—again—for the man who ruined him for all other men.
Love isn’t an emotion Spiro Papadopoulos entirely trusts anymore. He’s far too pragmatic for that. His focus these days has to be on his art and caring for his ailing mother. Being with Noah again is easy and feels so right … but is it love? Spiro isn’t sure. Besides, with his entire life being tied to Greece and Noah’s to New York, love might just be a luxury neither of them can afford.
Can Spiro and Noah overcome the oceans and years between them—or will their second chance at love end as badly as their first?