Review: Hail Storm

Hail StormHail Storm by D.J. Manly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Torn between a lover and a newly discovered brother, Chance's sweet dream world turns into a bittersweet reality.

Chance Laurence is the only son of two doctors. Loved by his mother and father, he's lived the proverbial charmed life. Set on an undesired medical path by his parents, Chance rebels a little with his musical hobby.

Chance's music idol is Hail Dean from the group Hail Storm. Against his father's wishes, Chance pursues his wish to attend a Hail Storm fan concert. He's blown away when he meets Hail Dean. Hail leaves Chance his number so they can keep in contact. Chance is baffled by all this attention. He agrees to go to LA to spend a little time with Hail. While Chance loves Hail Dean, he lusts after Storm. Storm is the other half of the band. Unconfirmed rumours of Hail and Storm's relationship give Chance hope to spend some time with Storm. When Chance arrives in LA and stays in Hail's home, that's when the bombshell drops.

This story moves very fast. It's all from the perspective of Chance who is an average young male, ready to go off to college. Abruptly, he's pulled into a whirlwind by Hail. It's not only a huge lifestyle change. It's also a shock when a deeply hidden truth is revealed. His world slowly starts to crumble at the foundation until the erosion is too great. Everything falls apart and Chance is left all alone.

This story is a classic Mr. Manly filled with conflicted love and angst. The love is more than just between two male lovers. It also showcases the love between brothers and how it can go wrong. This tale also demonstrates the love between father and sons. How does a father choose between two different sons and treat them in such extreme differences? This pulls the reader into the book to bond with the characters. It pulls emotions out of the reader and causes them to rail and demand, "Why? Why?"

I liked every character in this book which is a hard feat to accomplish. No one in this story was completely evil or bad. Instead, there are good people making bad choices. The consequences slay me. Watching the secrets burst open and cause reckless damage pulls on my heartstring for every character. I can't be mad at the ones keeping the secret. They did it to try and avoid hurting someone they love. Yet when the dark secrets are revealed, the one they tried to protect is staked through the heart. No one wins; everyone loses.

Yet this story doesn't have a depressing ending. Instead, Mr. Manly guides us into a believable resolution with an ending I can accept. With bated breath, I'm eased into a conclusion where the characters can move on. This moving tale of forbidden love is recommended to m/m lovers who know the heart does not always choose whom it loves.

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