About the Book (from Goodreads):
When roommates Grady and Mateo give in to their growing lust, it’s the best sexual experience of their lives. But are they really gay? Is this just sex or something more? It takes time for confused Grady to figure that out, but once he does, he’s determined to have all of Mateo. Too bad tracking down brokenhearted Mateo proves impossible.
So what’s a horny gay virgin who wants only one man to do? Grady posts an ad online to encourage his friend out of hiding and into his bed. Once he gets Mateo between the sheets, he’s sure he can convince him that what they had together was no college experiment. But Mateo’s been hiding from something—or someone. Grady is determined to tear down all Mateo’s walls so he can find out what happened to him and help heal his wounds, and in the process show his best friend that he won’t run. Not this time. He swears.
I’m a total sucker for coming of age/self-discovery stories, so when I read the synopsis for this story it held a lot of appeal. Knowing it’s written by an author I’ve really enjoyed made it even better. The story of reuniting with the one that got away hints at so much angst, I just couldn’t resist. I Swear to You is a gripping tale of love, lies and longing that’s well worth it.
Let me start by saying my enjoyment of this story was wholly heightened by Sloan Parker’s excellent storytelling. She completely develops two deep, complex characters who are both struggling to find their way, first as college students and then as twenty-something year old men. The only difference is later in life they’ve got a lot more baggage, some of it life altering and dangerous. The emotion of every phase of Mateo and Grady’s relationship and interaction is so intensely felt and necessary in order to really grasp the connection between them. A love like that, one that lasts for six years…that’s the kind of love most people only ever dream of.
My heart broke for these guys as they struggle to find their way. Their first encounter is so raw, they’re completely vulnerable and trusting. These guys have such chemistry it’s impossible not to sense their connection, yet Parker also introduces just the slightest element of fear and uncertainty. It’s that fear that ultimately wins and drives a wedge between the two friends- a wedge that changes everything.
When Grady first sees Mateo after six years apart, I feel like he’s still pretty naive. Aside from his struggles with is sexuality, he’s lived a rather charmed life: supportive family, good job, and safe place to live. Once he makes up his mind what he wants – Mateo – he goes after him. But life is messy, and he hasn’t really thought through what Mateo will be like after all those years. I think he’s a little surprised to find Mateo as drastically changed as he is.
I don’t want to go into the events of Mateo’s past that caused such a change since that would be a major spoiler. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching Grady fight to reconnect despite Mateo’s determination to keep him at arm’s length. So many times I thought Mateo would walk away, whether out of fear, anger, or whatever. Grady refuses to accept there can be nothing more. He still feels their deep connection and he’s sure Mateo does too. Parker slowly reveals the pain and suffering in Mateo’s past, and once those cards are on the table and they begin to shoulder the burden together, I think the real healing starts for Mateo and their relationship.
RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!