DUO REVIEW by BECCA & DONNA
TITLE: Looking In
AUTHOR: Michael Bailey
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 237 Pages
RELEASE DATE: September 3, 2017
David Barrows world fell apart at the age of eleven after his mother died. Years of physical and emotional abuse followed, leaving him scarred in body and mind, mired in the belief that he is unlovable. He spends his days working in a comic shop, and his nights alone wrestling with the ghosts of his past.
As a Marine, Adam Duncan has sworn to protect and serve, and there is no one he is more protective of than his brother and nephew. When tragedy strikes, threatening the security of his family, his protective instincts kick in. But how can he fight an enemy he can’t see?
David and Adam feel the connection between them, but David has built walls around his heart that no one has bothered to break through, until Adam. Adam can see what a special man David is, and is willing to do whatever it takes to break down those barriers. Can he make David see he doesn’t have to keep living his life…Looking In?
Wow. Just wow. What a way to make a debut as an author. This book was well written and very good. For me, personally, it was powerful and very…personal. What a message of hope it gave.
The characters in this book were amazing. David was my favorite. For me, David was like looking into a mirror. He broke my heart so often and yet he had me rooting for him from the start to just hold on and keep going. David’s life was so hard on him and to endure what he did and keep going is amazing. It’s admirable the strength he had even when he felt so lost and hopeless. What I love about David’s character as well is it is so parallel to what so many go through in their lives. I love the way the author made David so real. I cried with him and laughed with him and held my breath as he held on hoping for hope. When he met Adam, it was like a breath of fresh air. The past had caused him to build walls that no one could penetrate but somehow Adam made it in.
Adam had his own issues from being in the military and dealing with family things, but his patience and support, the strength he kept giving David made his a close second as a favorite. Sometimes when people go through a past as bad as David’s, they just need someone to be there. They need the quiet strength and Adam was that for David. Adam was love and understanding and everything David had never had but silently yearned for. Adam was a rock. I loved the connection these two had. It was simply beautiful. And that’s putting it mildly. Life gave David a gift in Adam, and Adam a gift in David. And although David took a while to see it, it was like a dam had burst when he did. Adam had seen the gift David was from the beginning and he held on with all he was.
I hope the words I write grant some sort of insight on how amazing this book was. I hope that I have done it justice but I don’t think I can truly think of enough words to describe how beautiful this story was for me. If you get nothing else out of this book, take with you the message of hope it brings. Sometimes life just downright sucks ass but hold on to hope. Hold on for all it’s worth. And thank you to the author for the beautiful message and words you wrote.
This is exactly my kind of story. There was a little angst, a bit of heartache, a whole lot of hope and a perfect romance between two absolutely loveable characters.
David and Adam’s first meeting was textbook love story – the muscled gentle Marine, the wounded smaller shop assistant and a first touch that zinged. They couldn’t stop thinking about each other, there was a coincidental second meeting and bam – they’re besties then they’re boyfriends. What I appreciated about this version of that tried and true storyline, was the way the author sold it to me. Nothing happened without a reason. Adam and David fell in love lightning fast, but it was because they relied quite heavily on each other from the start. And they relied on each other because Adam was going through something traumatic family wise, and David’s past left him fascinated by Adam’s genuineness. While there was no “required misunderstanding-fueled-breakup”, there was some trouble that led to the two men being apart for a few days. But it wasn’t just thrown in there out of nowhere just to add some drama. I felt like every base was covered, every question answered and ever action reasoned out.
While that might be why I appreciated it from a technical angle, emotion wise, these characters grabbed my attention and didn’t let go until the end. I was angry, sad, happy, I laughed a few times and I definitely awwwwed over our two main men. There is a warning for self harm, which is actually a flashback to a suicide attempt. It was so painfully described in the…attemptee’s…own perspective that I thought I was going to break down and bawl. Then the author lifted the mood again with one of those feel good, too cute to be true moments that involved sick kids and superheroes. It only needed a puppy to complete the sickeningly sweet picture. And by sickeningly sweet, I mean it was abso-freakin-lutely perfect!
I’ve been told that this is this author’s debut novel. Well, a big congratulations to him. I hope there are more to come…perhaps even a sequel to Looking In?