By Spencer Spears
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
What happens when two stars collide?
The first lesson Colin Gardner ever learned was not to trust. The second was that love hurts. Growing up in an abusive family, he turned to the night sky for comfort and buried himself in science. It wasn’t easy being the only gay guy in school and Colin made peace with the fact that he’d never fall in love. He won’t risk that pain. Especially not for a guy who’s never dated men before. No matter how much he’s tempted.
“I don’t believe in love. It only gets you hurt.”
Charlie Keller doesn’t date. How could he risk his kid growing attached to someone when it might not last? The divorced dad’s life revolves around his daughter, his dog, and his job as Maple Springs’ resident handy-man. But when Charlie helps Colin out in a pinch, his world changes forever. Charlie can’t ignore his attraction to Colin, but he can’t act on it either – can he?
“Being with you changes everything. I’ve never done this before.”
As winter deepens, Charlie and Colin are drawn into each other’s orbit. But when Charlie’s ex-wife threatens to move his daughter across the country, he realizes his worst fears might come true. And when Colin’s past comes calling, it raises demons he’s not sure he’s strong enough to fight. Will Colin and Charlie’s love flame out, or can they find a way to make a new constellation – just for the two them?
Everyone dreams of finding his (or her, outside the M/M genre) own Charlie Keller: sweet, built like a god, good to the core, and simply… perfect. Colin, however, has too much baggage and scarring, both physical and emotional, to commit to, or believe that he won’t f*ck up, a relationship if he ever gathers up enough courage to take a chance on one. But Charlie sure seems to be the real thing. From the moment these two meet in the attic of the library, it’s pretty easy to start fantasizing about how hot it will be when these two finally do hook up. Even with each one’s added problems – Charlie’s ex-wife is set on moving back to New York – and then to Italy – and taking their teenage daughter with her, and Colin’s adopted sister Rochelle wants him to testify against their adopted parents for child abuse.
This is my first time reading work from author Spencer Spears, and I doubt it will be my last. There were so many good things about this book: plausible, realistic, and potentially relatable plots, sub-plots, and characters; magnificent character development of both primary and secondary characters; seamlessly woven storylines that follow through from start to finish; expertly portrayed raw emotions, almost palpable; and it’s so extremely well written – it’s easy to get drawn in and not want to put it down. Beneath Orion delivers a little bit of everything – healing, fear, discovery, forgiveness, love, acceptance, closure, romance – just like in real life.
Beneath Orion – and the extra bonus chapter/epilogue (Wintermaker) – will remain in my favorite stories memory vault for a long time to come.
(posted on Amazon on January 2, 2017, and Goodreads on January 1, 2017)