Product Review (submitted on July 3, 2016):
I was completely sucked into Ellis and Bryn’s story. I started Earthquakes at 11pm and read until my eyes wouldn’t stay open any longer. As soon as I woke the next morning, I started right back up on it. I had to know what Bryn’s secret was. I had to know why Bryn kept seeing Jared (okay, I pretty much guessed the why – but I wanted the details). I wanted to know why Bryn’s mother kept calling and why he wouldn’t answer the phone. I had to know if Ellis was going to be able to scale Bryn’s walls. I had to know if he did, would Bryn let him help break down those walls. I had to know more about Ellis. I had to know more about Bryn. I had to know if there would be a Bryn and Ellis, or if Bryn would succeed in pushing Ellis away.
Although I haven’t read any of the previous books in the New Amsterdam series, Wyre has written the book in such a way that I was able to read it as a standalone. That said, after reading the blurbs from the previous books, I imagine that series fans will enjoy seeing Ellis find his match because it’s clear that this is a close knit group of men and while Bryn is new to the series, Ellis is not. Even though I haven’t gotten to know Ellis over the course of the series, I connected with his character almost immediately. There was just something about him that I adored. Perhaps it was Ellis’s need to draw out the obviously wounded Bryn and his subsequent need to protect the man even as he wanted to submit to him, but it made for a rather heady combination in a character.
As for Bryn, the man was just as fascinating in his brokenness that conflicted with his need to dominate. Unfortunately, because Bryn’s issues and how they affect his behaviors drive the story, I cannot discuss them without spoiling the book. Suffice it to say, I was utterly enthralled by Earthquakes. Watching Ellis’s earnest efforts to get Bryn to notice him and feeling Bryn’s confusion and Ellis’s strength when their first true encounter occurs. Witnessing their first standoff on the gun range the following Monday (hot!). Ellis comes to Bryn’s rescue time and time again, and I was absolutely humbled by Ellis’s ultimatum to himself and his refusal to continue to subject himself to Bryn’s rejections indefinitely. Even before he accompanied Bryn to his family home in South Carolina, Ellis understood that Bryn had received little to affection in his life, that Bryn needed to be shown that he was worthy of love – but Ellis also understood that love was not enough to rid Bryn of his demons, that Bryn had to want to help himself. As for Bryn’s mother, I have no words to describe that woman, at least no words I can put in a review. And the secrets! The secrets that Bryn learns are so devastating, yet enlightening for Bryn because they altered the way he saw his childhood – both the good and the bad. While I would have enjoyed seeing more about Bryn’s healing process, I appreciated that the author included references to Bryn’s recovery – both with his therapist and with Clark. There is no doubt that Ellis’s love and support helped make huge inroads in Bryn’s improvements, but with all that was plaguing him, I’m glad that the author didn’t try to present it as a “love heals all wounds” scenario. I thoroughly enjoyed Earthquakes and Wyre’s writing style, and I hope to find time to read the previous books in the series so that I can get the other men’s stories, especially Clark’s.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!