Review: Too Close

Too Close - Shay R. Phoenix

Hurt/comfort fans, pay attention!!
What a wonderful book! So much hurt/comfort going on here, I couldn’t get enough.

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18 year old Skylar is responsible for his 16 year old sister and tries his best to provide for her. He will do anything for her. Even sell his body to the man they are living with. Tate is controlling, possessive and demeaning to Sky. But every time he beats Skylar, he tries to make up for it by buying presents and acting all sweet.

Skylar knows he is in an abusive relationship, but he has nowhere else to go. He’s glad his sister doesn’t know the extent of his relationship with Tate. She just knows Tate is bad news.

When Sky gets a call from his sister’s school and has to come in for a meeting, he meets her math teacher, Dexter.

Dexter is instantly smitten with the sweet and funny brother of one of his students. He knows Skylar is much younger, but he can’t stay away from him.

The two continue to meet since Sky is accompanying his sister to her tutoring sessions with Dexter. Skylar feels happy there is someone who finally sees him, someone who laughs at his ridiculous math jokes. But Skylar also knows he doesn’t deserve a man like Dexter. How could someone ever love someone who sells his body so he has a roof over his head…

My heart went out to Skylar. The abuse he had to suffer was just awful. But it also showed how strong he really was, even though he didn’t believe that himself. He tried so hard to appear fine all the time.

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And Dexter was sweet, caring and just overall awesome. He wasn’t some rich billionaire swooping in to save the abused guy, but he was simply there for Skylar and Evie.

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The writing in this was really exceptional. It had a great pace and didn’t skip over the first few meetings and dialogue (as a lot of authors do). I was sucked in and cared for the characters from the first page.

What really stood out for me was that this pretty funny at times too.

His voice is hoarse as he asks, “Do you want…?”
I nod fervently, then blink. “I should probably get you to be more specific. I don’t know what I just agreed to.”
Dexter laughs. “Strip algebra,” he says dryly.
“That’s not a thing!” I protest, only to reconsider. “... is it?”


I also loved the terrible math puns Skylar dished out. He was such a great character.

“You keep asking her to find your x and she doesn’t know y,” I explain, deadpan.
Dexter looks blankly at me, quirking a brow.
I beam at him.
He groans when it finally seems to hit him. “That… is possibly the worst math joke I’ve ever heard.”.


If I have one complaint about this book it would be that the relationship could have used a bit more development near the end. I felt that part was just a bit rushed. But the rest was just so awesome that I have to give this 5 stars.

And for those who are wondering, this is light on steam. We do get one sex scene at the end, but sexy times are not the main focus of this story.