Blurb: Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on love, hope, happiness, and — most of all — himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations.
Then a chance encounter at a stag party throws him into the arms of Essex boy Darian Taylor, an aspiring model who lives in a world of hair gel, fake tans, and fashion shows. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he cooks a mean cottage pie and makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety.
But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?
Review: So many times when an author attempts to portray a character suffering with severe depression they manage only to make the character this horrible, pitiful thing that generally has zero redeeming qualities. That isn’t the case with this book. The depression Ash’s character deals with is handled in a much more realistic, genuine and sympathetic way. Unfortunately for me, it seems that was almost the entire focus of the book, the depression rather than the romance.
Even with the interesting characters (really liked Darian, his uniqueness and personality) and how well written the depression issues, I was disappointed with how little it seemed we got to see of the actual relationship between Darian and Ash. They were both such good characters that I wanted more of them rather than just the depression. I get the point, absolutely, about how all encompassing that is, but since I picked this up as a romance, that is more of what I was expecting.
I do have to note that I found it frustrating while also completely hilarious at how mind bending it was at times to decipher what was being said as an American reading a wholly British novel. That is always something I find entertaining, but this one was just so much more than any others I’ve read in the past.