I am on such a roll lately. I have hit great book after great book and this one is even better than that. It's going on my favorites shelf. This is a sweet romance about a messed up guy and the man who shows him how to open his heart.
The way these two learn how to communicate and share their worlds is breathtaking. It is completely believable that a musician and a deaf man connect on a such a deep level. Shawn is not at all what I expected and he is SO much better for it. He's Mr. Perfect. He's so patient and serene. He's at peace with himself. He's such a great contrast to Cooper, who's at war inside.
Cooper is also a sweet, beautiful man, and it takes him the whole book to see it. But the angst isn't angsty. It's very real and believable, and it's not at all surprising that he would feel and act the way he does based on what happened only a few years ago. I spent much of the book thinking, "Yeah, he should feel guilty, he should be reacting like he is. I would, too."
The guys in St. Ignacious are really great and quite amusing. Maybe a little too perfect, but that's okay. It's what Cooper needed. The situation was more believable than another book I read recently where someone was given a free room above a bar in exchange for kitchen help. I'm not exactly sure why, but this one seemed possible to me.
I loved that it isn't the kind of, "I'll die without you," kind of book, either, and yet their love is intense and beautiful. I also loved the ending, although there's one piece that some might feel is too convenient: What we find out really happened that night.
My favorite part/quote was a little more than 2/3rds of the way through (medium spoiler): Shawn arrives in Minnesota and says he doesn't know how long it will take before he goes home. When asked how long what will take he replies, "I'm just here to collect something that belongs to me," meaning, of course, Cooper. It's not a possessive jealous thing; he's just saying that he knows Cooper believes he needs to be in Minnesota but that Shawn is there to help Cooper know they belong together.
This is a story about redemption and love and forgiveness and it was done beautifully.