Reviewed by Gitte
4.5 Riveting and Beautiful Stars
I seriously love Barbara Elsborg’s writing; it’s flawless, descriptive and sensual. Her stories are riveting with such depth and such amazing characters. This story as always is no exception. The characters were utterly lovable in their own messed up way and the story was gripping and passionate. I laughed, cried and swooned as I watched it play out.
There was no way I could put Tyler and Haris’ story down as I was completely swept away in the intensity, the passion and the mystery. This isn’t a short book but I read it in one sitting as real life disappeared! I lived this journey alongside Tyler and Haris, was it over the top at times plot wise, maybe but it made for a brilliant read. Even the secondary characters played a huge part, nothing nor no-one were superfluous at all. I especially loved Wilson the sarcastic hypochondriac butler. There was so much humour perfectly threaded through the drama. It was almost perfection. I seriously LOVED With or Without Him.
The characters of Tyler and Haris were so opposite they were the perfect match. I would have loved even more character back story as they fascinated me and I fell in complete love. An epilogue would have been the icing on the cake, maybe a glimpse from a few years down the line. Seriously loved these two I kind of needed more ‘afters’, the horrific and suspenseful journey almost warranted it!
Tyler’s a rent boy who’s trying to pay off his impending musical student debts working for a ruthless wanker who has no respect nor feelings of right or wrong other than throwing a bit of money at Tyler as he gets his jollies on. I wanted to cut his knob off along with every other maniac tosser who broke my boy’s heart and body!!
‘I’m a slut. Do I care? Not enough to walk out.’
‘Maybe this was all he deserved, to be used and discarded like the piece of trash he was. He’d never be loved. He didn’t deserve that either.’
Yeah, the gorgous but haunted and vulnerable Tyler stole a huge piece of my heart. He’s such a sarcastic boy, a beautiful boy, a boy who’s had a horrific tragedy happen in his childhood. I cried so many tears for him in this story! For Tyler music is everything, and he’s under so much pressure that you just want to see him happy and loved. He deserves nothing less. Tyler deserves everything good!
‘Music was the most important thing in his life. Music kept him sane, stopped him from feeling lonely….Music had saved him when nothing else could. It had let him escape into a different world and it still did.’
Haris too was a complex character. He’s been to hell and back and is living a colourless personal life almost in denial and under the radar.
A self-made millionaire business man who on a chance encounter comes across our broken boy. He’s mesmerized and brings a proposition to the table, one Tyler can’t possibly pass up despite everything. Haris’ past means that he has a host of trust issues and he’s adamant that no one can know anything about him, especially Tyler. Once he opens up though my heart broke and I just wanted these two beautiful broken men to go somewhere safe and live a happy love and passion filled life together.
‘Haris let himself slide into the role. He allowed his guards down and pretended to be someone else until he felt like someone else. A fallen angel but a better man.’
The path to their happiness was not an easy road as their respective pasts start to play out in the present and I felt so angry one minute and so incredibly sad the next. At times the whole non-communication from Haris made me want to hit him with my kindle and I thought some of his reactions were too over the top!!
Oh and as for the nookie, freezer time galore, it was scorching hot and plentiful, and for readers who shy away from BDSM, ignore the warning, on the whole it played no part really. There were a few arseholes who forced our boy into situations beyond his control, but it was not the crux of the story.
“I can’t live with you anymore.”
“And I can’t live without you.”
I can highly recommend this Author and her books, be they m/m, m/f/m or m/f, yeah she writes them all. She brings everything and more to the table so go add this one to your to-read list!
*ARC received for an honest review*