Reviewed by Kat
TITLE: Troy – Into the Light
SERIES: Troy – Book One
AUTHOR: J.J. Harper
LENGTH: 175 Pages
RELEASE DATE: November 26, 2016
Troy grabs his bags and, shoving in as much of his belongings as he can, he clambers out of his bedroom window. He can hear the shouts and arguments starting up and his name being called. Not able to face his parents, Troy runs away.
Leaning against the wall of the club, Troy’s eyes are drawn to the dark-haired man dancing fluidly with another man. Their eyes meet and Troy’s life changes in the blink of an eye. Inexplicably drawn to each other, they meet on the dance floor. Tremors course over Troy’s body as the handsome stranger touches him.
“I’ve been waiting for you. I don’t know how or why, but I know that you are mine.” As he leans in, he whispers in my ear, “I’m Franco; I am the man you’ve been waiting for, too.” Troy’s life alters irrevocably in that instant as he falls for the handsome, Italian man.
As they build their life together Troy and Franco discover true love, a love so deep they can’t be apart.
I hold his head against my body and, no longer able to hold back my emotions or my words, I stutter, “I love you,” into his hair as my lips cover his head with kisses. “I love you also, Troy. I never knew such a feeling was possible.” Franco whispers against my chest as I hold him.
When illness strikes, Troy has to discover a new part of himself as he struggles past the pain. A new, stronger, braver man emerges, taking his life in his own hands.
I am a huge fan of JJ Harper’s Reunion series and knew that the spinoff series about Troy, Nico’s roommate, was coming. I was so excited to get it, but Jess…you gutted me! I knew it was going to be tough but you didn’t hold back any punches. And it was exactly how it was meant to be!
Troy is caught, literally with his pants around his ankles, when his parent’s neighbor/friend’s wife catches her husband in the act, in their garage, over their car. Exactly what part of “It’s not what it looks like, baby” is she suppose to believe? But Troy knows the poop is going to literally hit the fan and fast. So, at barely eighteen, Troy grabs everything he can from his childhood bedroom, escapes out the window and doesn’t ever look back. Fast forward six months. Troy is sharing a rundown apartment with a friend and is stuck in a dead end job at a call center. But at least he has a roof over his head and is keeping afloat, barely. On a chance visit to a local gay nightclub he is discovered by a very well-to-do and extremely gorgeous man. This is the story of how Troy met Franco and Nico. It is the tragic love story of two men who are each other’s destiny.
If you have read the Reunion series, which I highly recommend you do first but isn’t critical to the story, you already know about Franco. He is the man who literally rescued and protected Nico after he had been beaten nearly to death and left for dead. You have also meet Troy, Franco’s love and Nico’s roommate. I knew what the outcome of this story would be because it is set before the Reunion series, but it still didn’t prepare me for their story. I knew I would like Franco and Troy but I didn’t expect to fall so completely for them. I knew to protect my heart but you simply can’t. It’s not possible. You want everything to work out for each of them because they are such an important part of Nico’s life and I was head-over-heals for Nico and Ryan. And because they deserve it darn it. But, alas, this is not as I wanted.
Although both men can be a bit needy, and even whiny at times, I believe it is because they recognize their soul mate the moment they lay eyes on each other across the club. Troy is young and inexperienced in life. Franco is seasoned but thrown completely by Troy. There is one thing that bothers me. I know the author was trapped by the outcome from the first series but Franco is a successful and brilliant businessman. I can’t believe that he would simply ignore his own health symptoms, especially since he owns the most elite gymnasiums in the nation. The fact that he would put himself at this much risk and hurt Troy so much. It just doesn’t seem in his character that he would do that.
I will warn you…this is a bittersweet novel. It had to be. There was no choice. It is also a bit of a cliffhanger. But that is typical of these three part series from this author. Highly recommend this emotional journey and can’t wait to see Troy get his well deserved HEA.