Book Reviews

The One to Stay by Emrys Apollo

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 19-July-2019

Book Blurb

After a tragic accident Jesse ends up in a position with a puppy he's tried to give away, but the hot guy he’s talked to isn’t biting. But underneath his grouchy demeanor is someone quite loving, and Jesse is determined to set him loose.

Book Review

“You were alone, left out in the cold...You’ve been fighting the memory all on your own... Hear you, falling and lonely, cry out: Will you fix me up? Will you show me hope?... Can you keep me close? Can you love me most?” ~ Vancouver Sleep Clinic (Someone to Stay)

Jesse, of ‘The One to Stay’ by Emyris Apollo, is traumatized when he accidentally hits a dog who ran out in front of his car. As he is wondering what to do, a guy appears out of nowhere. The stranger, Brad, helps Jesse put the dog in the backseat of his car and holds him while they carry him to the vet.

While waiting to hear whether the dog will be okay or not, Jesse asks if it is the man’s dog and is told no, that it’s a stray he has been caring for. Unfortunately, the dog dies. He has identification though. Since Jesse is the one to have caused the dog’s death, he decides that it is his responsibility to notify its owner. Brad tags along. The owner turns out to be an older lady, who was having trouble managing the rambunctious dog. When he got out, she couldn’t chase after him. When they leave her house, it is snowing. Jesse offers Brad a ride, but he refuses, saying his place is just down the street and he will walk. Jesse shrugs, then drives home, not expecting to see Brad again.

Jesse can’t stop feeling bad about the dog. He has no idea how much Dobermans cost or where to get them, but he consults Google. He almost faints when he sees the price. In any case, he is determined to make amends. Jesse finds a puppy and negotiates the price. He takes the puppy to the deceased dog’s owner. She is touched by his offer, but says she is too old to train a puppy, declining his offer. Jesse can’t keep the puppy because his apartment doesn’t allow pets, so he has to find another solution. After thinking about it for a while, Jesse decides to ask Brad if he will take the puppy.

Brad wants the puppy, but will not let Jesse just give it to him. They strike a bargain, in that Brad will partly pay for him. Even though that problem is solved, Jesse wants to see Brad again. He’s curiously attracted to the solemn man with so many scars. Eventually, Brad tells him that he is a Marine and was badly wounded and discharged. Although Jesse isn’t bothered by Brad’s scars, Brad is; it impairs their ability to be intimate. Brad is difficult to deal with, but there is something about him that calls to Jesse’s heart. Brad desperately needs love and comfort, but acts as if he doesn’t. Although he knows it will be hard, Jesse decides to try to get past Brad’s harsh exterior, to uncover the man he suspects, lies beneath.

This is a good story about two men who learn how to negotiate difficult barriers to their relationship. Brad is a difficult puzzle to solve, but Jesse is stubborn and determined to hang in there as long as he can for something that he hopes can be a good future for both of them. Although I liked the plot and the characters, the end was disconcerting because there was no clear indication that the story had ended. Thanks, Emyris, for finding a way to give them a happy ending.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 191 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 08-June-2019
Price $3.05 ebook
Buy Link