Broken Road by Sean Michael

Broken Road by Sean Michael
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Can lifelong best friends find their happily ever after in each other?

Ardie and West have been friends since the second grade. They’ve been through a lot together: homework, broken bones, the death of a parent, and dreading high school dances. Through Ardie working the family farm and taking care of his siblings, and West chasing his college boy dreams, their friendship never falters, even with the gap of years and lifestyles.

West goes through a series of boyfriends, making Ardie wish his friend could find someone who loves him as much as Ardie does himself. Waiting for the right time to tell West he’s gay, Ardie figures he’s lost his chance when West finally meets someone who seems just right for him.

When the bottom falls out for West, there’s only one person he thinks to call. Ardie is there for him when he does. A little vacation seems to be the right thing, not just to ease West’s mind, but for Ardie to slide into West’s life again, finally letting his friend know how deeply he cares.
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Will these two bet friends realize there might be more between them than just friendship? Find out if their Broken Road lead to happiness in this heartwarming read.

Ardie and West have been best friends since the first day of grade two. Through all the highs and lows, the laughter and tears that life brings the men remain friends – the bond formed on that first day never wavering. And when West eventually calls as his life shatters, Ardie doesn’t hesitate, leaving behind his farm and siblings to be there to help pick up the pieces, to remind West of the simple family love that’s been constant throughout each of their lives.

This is an absolutely amazing story. Readers who love a long, slow drop into love, particularly those “friends to lovers” style of story should find – as I did – that this one is just perfect. A little over the first half of this book shows Ardie and West’s friendship, life and love from the beginning. At first I was a bit nervous, worried the background would bog down the story – but I feel the author did a really amazing job managing to balance this side to the story.

The pace moved fast enough that I didn’t feel in a hurry to get to the present day – where West calls Ardie for help – but instead this helped show the rock-solid foundation of friendship and life that the two men had together. It showed them growing up from boys into men and led us on the paths their lives each took. Woven throughout all this was the friendship – and love – that carried the men through the usual highs and lows of a lifetime. I particularly loved how there wasn’t drama merely for the sake of it – Ardie and West’s lives each held plenty of peaks and troughs and this was ample conflict, plot and tension, the solidness of their friendship, the unwavering love and support didn’t need mis-communications or drama or angst to make it interesting and vibrant and I am so very glad the author kept away from those kinds of tropes.

While the first half of the book focused on how the boys became men and reached their early thirties in life, this slow romantic pace felt just right for such a lovely full length novel. It gave me as the reader time to really relax and enjoy and get hooked on each man. This is the first book in a very long time – months for sure, if not the whole year – that had me reading long into the night and finishing it in one sitting. It was addictive in the most wonderful sense and I simply couldn’t stop and put it down to go to sleep. When West finally reaches rock bottom and calls Ardie, the second half of the story shines even brighter than the first. I was particularly pleased the two men – after a lifetime of being there for each other, supporting and helping one another and loving each other – didn’t simply fall into bed. Their pace increased, sure, but it was still natural, logical and so realistic I wish I knew them for real because it was just a beautiful, wonderful story.

Readers looking for something kinky or crammed full of sex won’t find that here. This book is one of those rare gems that, sure has some smoking hot M/M sex, but is full of all the other wonderful aspects of a solid romance. There’s a large and strong cast of secondary characters, primarily Ardie’s family and a few important people coming and going in West’s life. There is the wonderful road of two lives – similar but different and inextricably woven together forever. There is laughter and tears and so much joy and love it makes me want to burst and go right back to the start immediately and re-experience it all over again.

This is a wonderful, heartfelt and amazing story, one that is absolutely going onto my keeper shelf and one I can most strongly recommend.

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