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Our Review

‘That’s the state we’re both in, after all. Need. I need him to calm me; he needs me to steady him. I need him to rouse me back to life; he needs me to remind him that his is a good life, not one of meaningless nothingness.’

This is our first experience with Melissa Collins’ work and after being completely mesmerized by the beauty of her words and storytelling you can bet we’ll be 1Clicking more from this author because she completely held our hearts with On Solid Ground.

In fact, if we had a checklist of everything we love in a story, this book would tick them all. Emotion, passion, sweetness, tenderness, love, engaging characters and a superbly told story, it was all there and then some.

‘What if I don’t like the me I find?’

The main characters, Dax and Beck, both so different, yet both carrying scars and pain from their past which they must confront and repair before they can give themselves completely to one another.  The secondary players in this story were so significant in Dax and Beck’s healing and each relationship had a bearing on how their story would unfold. Each profoundly important it its own way.

We meet Dax as he is returning home after experiencing horrendous events whilst away at war. He finds it hard to assimilate into his old life as he deals with the guilt of loss, PTDS, painful memories and coming to terms with his sexuality. All has taken its toll and he feels a total disconnection from his loved ones, deciding to move to California in the hope of finding himself.

“How do you let go of the guilt of being alive?”
“By living the best fucking life you can.”

Beckett is the co-owner of a Tattoo parlour who was thrust into the role of carer and nurturer for his sister, this man had to accept responsibility and grow up fast, relinquishing any dreams he may have held.

Little did we know the depth to which both these men had suffered; such tragedy and heartbreak. Each had an agonizingly heartbreaking story to tell and both had us in a flood of tears.

We felt with every fibre of our being the encompassing love between Dax and Beckett and we felt their suffering as they faced their demons.

‘All those parts of myself that I usually keep hidden – he wears those parts on the outside.’

The sexual tension and the passion is evident and experienced but at no time does it overrule the emotional connection between them. It’s more an extension of the deep connection between these two men who crave the intimacy they share.

‘With a physical strength I could never exert, Dax hugs me tightly, crying all the tears he keeps at bay while awake.’

This is a story of self-discovery, of love at its most beautiful and genuine, one of loss and the love of family and it showed the complexities of healing deep emotional scars.

Melissa Collins delivered a stirring, thought provoking story that left us breathless and completely fulfilled. Such an emotive and beautiful story that encapsulated everything we love about reading.

“Just shut up. Let me have this. Just let me have this and then we can tell ourselves all the lies about how it’ll never work.”

If you are considering delving into the MM Sub Genre this book would be the perfect choice. You can’t go wrong giving On Solid Ground a read.

** Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by the author, with thanks **

Synopsis

When Jacob “Dax” Daxton returns home from war, he has to fight a new battle – the one to find his place in the world. The man who normally has a clear path to victory surrounded by brothers in combat is suddenly lost and alone. After meeting Beckett Ridge, a bearded tattoo artist, Dax’s journey begins winding down an unexpected path.

Still reeling from events that shook his foundation, Beck has never been part of anything meaningful. Now faced with responsibilities foreign and daunting, Dax’s broken spirit mends Beck in ways he never even knew he was destroyed.

As both struggle to find balance, they are healed by the comfort they find in one other. On the other side of chaos, they hope to find themselves On Solid Ground. 

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