Review: Give Yourself Away by Barbara Elsborg

February 6, 2016 Review 0

Review: Give Yourself Away by Barbara Elsborg

One guy intent on caution. One an adrenaline junkie. Love could be one risk too many.

March is determined to lose the numbness that accompanies a history of loss and blame. Desperate to feel something—anything—the adrenaline junkie base jumps off cliffs, soars on hang gliders, and embarks on dangerous sea-borne rescue missions. But any release he feels is fleeting, and when you play Russian roulette with fate, eventually you come crashing down.

No matter how hard Caleb tries to forget his past, a dark shadow is always behind him. When a bizarre turn of events results in him being trapped in a sea cave, Caleb wonders how his mantra—safety at all costs—could have failed him. On the point of drowning, he’s stunned when March surfaces in the cave.

March’s disregard for the rules saves Caleb’s life but gets March into a heap of trouble. Not least of which is the guy shivering in the boat next to him. March tries to ignore Caleb but it’s already too late. Together, they take small, awkward steps toward love. But Caleb’s past is waiting to sink in its claws…and this time, it could drag him to his death.

Warning: This book contains difficult flashbacks of child abduction and sexual violence, but also the incredible perseverance of two men who never give up on love—or each other. Bring your tissues and a heart that believes in the resilience of the human spirit.

Title: Give Yourself Away
Author: Barbara Elsborg
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Falling, Talking Trouble, Breaking
Published by Samhain Publishing
Source: Author
Published: February 9, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Male Male Romance
Pages: 339
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website

Stars: five-stars
Flames: five-flames
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
300 Review

I fell in love with Barbara Elsborg’s stories a while back. Tragic pain, wounds to be healed, and a HEA are the combinations that do it for me. Of course when I read the blurb for Give Yourself Away, I saw all that happening. March trying to numb pain, Caleb with a dark past, March rescues Caleb, attraction, passion, drama, romance, HEA. Yes, I could see these two fitting the bill for what I’ve come to expect from Ms. Elsborg’s books. The blurb, however, did not prepare me for how bad it was going to be. I expected two guys with heartbreak in the past, meeting, have a bit of drama, work it out and boom HEA. I got that, except it wasn’t in the package I was expecting.

Let me breaking it down. The book is done in alternating timelines; the past for Baxter and Tye and the current for March and Caleb. The past starts out innocent and moves into the horrific realm, something no parent every wants their child to experience. The present has them now as adults and what has happened in the past still has a lingering impact on how they think /feel/act. The past is the equivalent of a train wreck. It’s horrible and you really don’t want to look but for some reason you just can’t pull your eyes away. It’s very obvious from the very beginning that Caleb is Tye and he was held captive and sexually abused…for a very long time. I almost felt this Give Yourself Away was more of his story than March’s only because what has happened to Caleb plays such a focal point.

Caleb, oh Lordy, I just wanted to give him a hug. He’s so sweet and gentle but so skittish. He has no problem admitting he is gay but what he does have problems with is his past. March is a thrill seeker/ adrenaline junkie but the reasons right away aren’t so obvious. He’s been holding himself back for so long, not willing to admit he is gay. The interactions between them is mesmerizing and tears at your heart. Slowly they begin to heal but not without pain from the present and the shock from the past invading their story. There are quite a few twists too that, while I was able to guess a few, there were some that caught me off guard. Despite the horrible childhood of Caleb, I really did enjoy this book. It full of angst and heartache, but underneath it all is a love story of two people separated, coming together and healing.

Spoiler and about the warning….
Did you notice the author posted a warning about ‘difficult flashbacks of child abduction and sexual violence’? Ms. Elsborg has some real hard hitting issues here that are not for the faint of heart. Do not take that warning lightly if that is an issue for you. Caleb’s past contains child abduction, abuse, rape and captivity. If any of that bothers you in any way, do not read this book! While sex between March and Caleb was hot, steamy, and deserving of a 3-Flame rating, the horrific experiences Caleb goes through requiring something higher, which is why I am giving it 5-Flames. However, if you can see beyond that then know there is a great story to be read.

 

Give Yourself Away
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