TO CLOSE TO THE FLAME is the newest release by husband team of Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood. It is their 5th published book and just as brilliant and moving as their other 4. A few posts back I wrote about Ryan and Josh and their amazing books.
All their books surround characters that, in one way or another, know each other. In TOO CLOSE TO THE FLAME, one main character is Brandon, who has been Liam’s (No Brief Affair & Legally Bound) assistant since Liam graduated from Law school, and got hired at a big law firm and when Liam (and Michael) opened their own law firm. The other is Devin. Fresh from law school, Liam’s cousin and a new hire at the law firm.
TOO CLOSE TO THE FLAME is a “dark to light” story with a beautiful Happily Ever After ending. Josh and Ryan really know how to write. As much as I love their other books, personally, this one is my favorite. I have adored Brandon from the moment we met him in the other books. He’s kind, and gentle and just all around great guy. Devin is a fairly new character. He MIGHT have been mentioned at John & Liam’s wedding in Legally Bound. I am not a 100% positive. He is just as sweet as Brandon is!
Can he ever learn to trust again??
Brandon Weber’s old boyfriend almost beat him to death. Brandon survived, but still bears the emotional scars. Eighteen months later, he has withdrawn into himself, convinced he’ll never be able to trust another man.
Devin Macadam, fresh out of law school, has an exciting new job. He is also on the lookout for just the right guy, someone to take care of and love.
When Devin shows up for the first day of work at his new office, he meets Brandon, a legal assistant there. Sparks fly, but Brandon is paralyzed by fear and isn’t about to give another man the power to hurt him again. Devin, never one to give up easily, doesn’t want to take no for an answer. Both men feel the magic, but can their relationship ever get past the friend zone?
Too Close to the Flame is a dark-to-light, sweet romance featuring out and proud gay men, lots of feels, steamy love scenes, and a wonderful happy ending.
Trigger Warning: Too Close to the Flame contains specific memories of physical abuse. That said, the book is about Brandon’s recovery and HEA romance with Devin. Our goal is to bring attention to the often neglected issue of abuse in gay relationships.
Like I said, this one is a favorite. I cried, I laughed and I cried some more. Brilliantly written with care, love and heart. I found it heart wrenching, emotional and so full of love. When you read this, be sure to have tissue handy!
Too Close To The Flame is available is paperback $12.99 / Kindle Unlimited / Kindle $3.99
Ryan and Josh took time out of their busy day to answer a few questions…. THANKS GUYS!!
How did Brandon’s backstory / abuse come about?
We knew we wanted to do a book featuring Brandon since his first appearance as Liam’s assistant in Legally Bound. As time went by, we decided that we wanted to create a unique role for Brandon, and we spent a lot of time deciding what that would be.
A friend of ours was a victim of domestic violence a few years ago. The level of ignorance surrounding that event shocked us. Some people seemed stunned that there would even be abuse within a relationship between two men, and others seemed determined to do some blame-shifting. Imagine trying to say that the person who suffers violence has “asked for it.” (Of course, anyone who knows anything about violence against women is aware that those kinds of disgusting games have been going on forever.)
Fortunately, our friend recovered physically and eventually fell for a man who has been wonderful to him. The going wasn’t easy for a while, but they loved each other and saw it through. Their relationship has made all the difference to our old friend, and they are among the happiest people we know.
We wanted to tell a story that would bring attention to the horrible problem of domestic violence within gay relationships, and also deal with the issue of trust. What does someone go through in trying to learn to trust again, and what does their partner endure?
Our friends gave their blessing to the book; we wouldn’t have written it if they had not. Too Close to the Flame is not our friends’ story, but there are distinct similarities. All of us hope that, in addition to enjoying a beautiful romance, readers will think about the deeper issues the book addresses.
If someone wanted to help somehow, what are some of the things they could do? Volunteer / Where?
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (https://ncadv.org/) does a lot of work in the area of DV against queer people (and others). There are various ways to become involved, and they need donations badly. They also offer a wealth of information and help on their website. Also, the Human Rights Campaign (https://www.hrc.org/) does a lot of work to promote awareness of the problem and do what they can to contribute to funding to help with it. There are many ways to become involved with HRC all over the country, and again, they need donations.
Liam and John have 2 books, and I think you’ve hinted at more but any of the other couples going to get more books?
Liam and John will probably get one more book of their own at some point. In addition, we want to do more books with the other couples we’ve written about but don’t have a definite timetable in mind. Meanwhile, there is no substitute for fresh characters and new stories, and we enjoy doing that.
As you know, characters from previous books tend to show up in our new books, in supportive roles. We are seriously considering writing an unusual romance that would deal with the entire cast of characters instead of focusing so specifically on only two men. There would definitely be romance as well as some challenges, but we think it would be a fun book to write if we can get the right angle.
One thing is for sure: you haven’t heard the last from Ryan and Josh, or from the characters you know and love.
I truly hope you give this book a read. Its worth it. I can not express enough how much I love Ryan and Josh and their books! Each more beautiful then the last!! As long as they keep writing I will keep reading.
Thank you both so very much for letting me spot light your amazing books again! You both are awesome.
Happy Reading !!!