Bottled Up by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

Gay / Contemporary

ISBN: 978-1-61581-019-2

Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

Sean Bielecki is working at his wine shop, minding his own business, when a commotion breaks out in the alley.  He runs outside to investigate and intervenes in an attack on a young man.  After discovering the young man, Bobby Thompson, is only sixteen and homeless, Sean invites the boy to stay with him for a while.  Then a customer at his store, police officer Sam Davis, asks Sean out.  Despite the demons of Sean’s past and Bobby’s present still haunting them all, will Sean be able to find happiness at last? 

Bottled Up is a sweet story about finding love and family in unexpected places.  Sean is a kind person who survived a horrific ordeal as a young man.  The experience shapes his relationships, leaving him guarded and fearful.  When he stops Bobby’s attacker, he feels the need to help the boy.  I liked Bobby.  While he trusted Sean rather too quickly in my opinion, he was a pretty neat kid.  Sam, the police officer who likes Sean, is almost a knight in shining armor.  He’s strong, sweet, caring, and understanding.  Somehow he managed not to come across as too perfect.  There were a lot of secondary characters—Sean’s parents, Bobby’s social worker, police officers, Sean’s friends (mentioned in Andrew Grey’s The Best Revenge), Bobby’s parents, etc.  The storyline of Bottled Up deals with a lot of heavy issues, and I kept waiting for the angst to kick in, but it never did.  For the most part, Bottled Up remains sweet and positive.  I would have liked to see some heavier emotions and more of Sean’s past, and I definitely would have enjoyed getting some of Sam’s point of view.   There are a couple of places where the plot veers a bit into melodrama as well.  In the end, though, I enjoyed Bottled Up.  The characters were all so likeable it would have been hard not to.

     

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