Other Reviewers: Goodreads
I have been on a roll lately with finding books that I loved enough to write a post. I trolled through my Goodreads feed and found another one to try, Kade Boehme’s Trouble and the Wallflower. The only other prior novel of Boehme’s I had read was Wide Awake, which was a freebie I found on Amazon. It was a great read.
Davy Cooper is alone, mostly by choice but also because of his social anxiety. But while working at Bart’s Soda Shop Gavin Walker and his rowdy band of brothers show up. Gavin continues to drop his phone number and flirting with Davy, but Davy is not sure that Gavin should be taken serious. As the friendship grows, can Davy afford to let Gavin have his body and possibly his heart?
At first glance, we think that Gavin is a bit of a player, more of a user than anything else. But what we find out is that there are reasons why Gavin behaves how he does with relationships. I would tell you more, but this provides a bit of the conflicts within the plot and will develop as the book continues.
In Gavin, we find someone who has learned to play the role of Don Juan, but like that character there is more than just seduction.
“I meant it. I’ve never had anyone in here. Ever. I’m not going to apologize for my past, but I hope you know I’m not using you like that. You’re not jut another hookup. I’d never have brought you here, never introduced you to Ray.”
We see that Gavin has hurt his chances with Davy because of his playboy background.
I could completely relate to Davy. His mother suffered from agoraphobia, and for most of his life he was trapped within his own home. Only his uncle Drew helped him to get out, thus Davy has a successful job at Bart’s Soda Shop. We see his panic attacks and awkwardness early on:
He concentrated on the work at hand, breathing in and out. If only Gavin understood. He’d give anything to be normal enough to just take his number one of the million times he’d offered. He’d love to go have that coffee with him. But Davy wasn’t normal. He was struggling past a panic attack now. The only thing stopping him from freaking out totally was the familiar actions.
But there is so much more to Davy than just this. He is incredibly strong-willed, fighting through his fear, through his childhood to become a successful person. What Davy struggles with now is finding someone who understands Davy’s strengths and weaknesses.
Everyone thinks that their own pain is unique. And maybe the causes of your life’s pain are distinctive, but in the end, pain and hurt all feel the same. In Trouble and the Wallflower, we see two men who have been hurt by their childhood, forming them, good or bad into the men they are now. But what happens now is that rather than just being life lessons, the pain has become a crutch, keeping them from risking everything for happiness.
Davy wrapped Gavin up in a hug. When everyone else saw the two of them, they saw Gavin who was nothing but trouble and Davy who was a wallflower, but in Gavin’s estimation, if you looked inside you’d see that Gavin was jut a scared little boy and Davy was his hero.
So we have two men who don’t think they are good enough for each other, but really they are exactly what they need to heal.
One of the best things about this book is the writing. There were many times that I was laughing at a description or crying over an emotional moment. I loved Davy’s humor, how despite his problems, he still could see the humor in life:
He was tempted to see if throwing a shiny thing would make her run off in the other direction.
I also loved how Boehme hooked us in at the beginning, hinting about Gavin’s background letting us understand that something was going to come with it. He did not hit us on the head with it, but subtly kept us worrying.
What could be better?
This was almost a perfect read for me, I felt the passion of the writing, the conflicts were realistic and had just the amount of angst I needed. However, toward the end I felt overwhelmed with the sex scenes; and while they were hot I got a little bored. It really only detracted the rating by a single star; for others it might not be a bad thing.
I struggle with social anxiety myself. I know how it feels like your heart will pound out of your chest; the fear that everyone can hear how fast your heart is beating and they are silently laughing at your weakness. So it was easy for me to relate to Davy. While I think that Boehme did a good job of portraying this anxiety, it did not seem consistently severe throughout the book. Yes, there were hints throughout the book, but the attack he had at the beginning and then at the end were the only time we really saw that. I would have liked to have seen a little more of that and a little less of the sex.
I sped through this book, racing to the end. I could relate to both characters and their conflicts were realistic, although the ending did seem to be rather nicely tied up. I think that if you like a book with a bit of character development and lots of hot sex, then this book is for you.