FREEING: a companion novel to the USA Today bestseller, Fading.
Jase Kinrick grew up in your typical, all-American household. But after the death of his sister, his parents shut down, forcing him to deal with everything life throws his way alone. Terrified of the person he’s discovering himself to be, Jase has his way with every willing girl to try and rid himself of what he fears he is—gay.
Escaping California and moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, Jase frees himself to the reality that he likes men. Never staying with any guy long enough to get to know them, he doesn’t realize that he’s still hiding from who he is until he meets Mark. Scared of having real feelings for another guy stirs up the questions and fears he’s fought hard to bury.
To strip away the barriers to the heart of what is real, and to be okay with what lies underneath, will be Jase’s moment of truth. But he’ll need Mark to lead him there.
***** A Scene from Mark's POV*****
Picking up my cell, I quickly call Kyle.
“Hey, man,” he answers.
“Hey. Jase is on his way over. I’m running late, but heading home now. I should be there in fifteen or so,” I tell him.
“Yeah,” he says before hanging up.
Traffic is backed up as I make my way home. Something about knowing that Jase is at my place waiting on me causes my heart beat a little quicker, but that’s nothing new. I really like this guy. I could tell he was hesitant with me the other night, but the fact that he didn’t skip a beat when I asked him to hit the gym with me today reassures me that maybe I was just being paranoid.
Pulling next to his car in my drive, I park and hop out. When I walk in and toss my keys onto the bar, I turn around. My beating heart wanes.
“What the fuck are you doing?”
Jase is on top of Kyle, tongue shoved in his mouth, before Kyle jumps off the couch from underneath him.
“Shit, man,” Kyle pants out, and I can’t even focus on him as I’m watching Jase, disengaged from the scene playing out in my living room. Completely void of emotion, he walks to grab his keys, and his demeanor is so irritating.
“You’re not gonna say anything?” I snap, and he doesn’t as much as look my way.
“Jase! What the hell, man?”
He walks past me and out the door. I should have trusted my gut when I first saw him. I knew about him. How he hops from bed to bed. But something about him, something I should have been more cautious of, told me that he felt differently with me. Who the hell am I kidding? I barely know him at all.
“Dude, I’m sorry,” Kyle says and when I turn around, I let my frustration play out on him.
“What’s your problem, man?”
“He said you guys weren’t anything, so I . . .”
“So you what? Forget it. You know what? I don’t give a shit. You’re just like him, always dragging ass in and out of here,” I sling at him as I start making my way to my room.
“Don’t be a fucking bitch, Mark.”
Turning around, I throw back at him, “Fuck you, Kyle. Just get your shit and get the fuck out.”
He laughs, as if I’m kidding.
“Serious. I want you out.”
Slamming my door, I’m beyond pissed. I don’t even know how this guy, in a brief period of time was able to get underneath my skin the way he had. Foolish of me to think that I could have had feelings for him, but I do. Shit.
God this book was heartbreakingly beautiful. In a good way. It used so many emotions in me I was drained afterward. Even typing this now, I'm crying. I feel like this book crawled inside of me and just wrenched open and dug out some of the most scary, beautiful, loving feelings I think I have ever felt from reading. Some points had me crying, some had me mad as hell. Some had me blissfully happy for Jace and Mark. Some are sad tears and some are wonderful happy tears. Do you have any idea how well something has to be written to make me CRY AFTER I'm done reading it.. Just talking about it!?! Do you have any idea how talented the author is to do that??? Well, let me tell you. Incredibly. I don't cry often. It's not who I am. But this book, this series, brings it out of me in heart wrenching sobs. I've read Fading. If you haven't, you need to before reading that before you read Freeing. When I read that I cried. Ugly cries. But this made me cry in a different way. Broke my heart and pieced back together for the same and different reasons. We see what Candace went through from Jace's POV. We get to see how much he loves her. We also see how hard it was for him to be there for her through her situation. How his strength for her was also draining him and killing him, but Mark was his saving grace. But.. We also see his heartbreaking story of acceptance. Not only from others but from himself. And Mark. We get to see how beautifully wonderful he is. Not only with Jace, but Candace too. We get to see how love has strength in numbers. How love can pull you from the darkness and show you the way to true happiness. Show you the way home. This wasn't just a book about love or friendship. But acceptance. Accepting who you are and being okay with it. Accepting love into your life. I don't think I can add a gif to this review. It doesn't need it. Nothing needs to be added go tell you how good this book was. You just need to read my words. How beautiful, sad, heartbreaking, wonderful and amazing it was. Like I said. I cried, a lot. You know what one of the most heart healing and beautiful parts of the book was for me? One of my favorite parts? Jace said "I love you" to Mark on thanksgiving and that did it. That's it. It made me cry. It was one of the most beautiful moments in a book I have read. EVER. 3 simple words. An instant reaction. I give this book 5 hearts. Well deserved, beautiful, love filled, brokenly healed hearts