Patchwork Paradise by Indra Vaughn
Releases: March 28, 2016
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Word count: 73,300
Page count: 262
Cover by: Lou Harper
Oliver and Samuel’s relationship is fairy-tale perfect. They share a gorgeous house in Antwerp, go out with their friends every weekend, and count down the days to their dream wedding. But their happy ending is shattered one late night, and just like that, Ollie is left bereft and alone.
The months that follow are long and dark, but slowly Ollie emerges from his grief. He even braves the waters of online dating, though deep down he doesn’t believe he can find that connection again. He doesn’t think to look for love right in front of him: his bisexual friend Thomas, the gentle giant with a kind heart and sad eyes who’s wanted him all along.
When Thomas suddenly discovers he has a son who needs him, he’s ill prepared. Ollie opens up his house—Sam’s house—and lets them in. Ollie doesn’t know what scares him more: the responsibility of caring for a baby, or the way Thomas is steadily winning his heart. It will take all the courage he has to discover whether or not fairy tales can happen for real.
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Indra Vaughn knows how to deliver grief. She ripped my soul in two as Ollie grieved over losing Samuel. Torn. To. Shreds. The intense guilt and grief were raw emotions that pulled tissue after tissue from the box next to me as I read. Intense. Real. Vulnerable. This is how Patchwork Paradise begins but it’s not all sadness and loss.
We endure Ollie’s grief over losing Samuel for a large part of the novel, but it’s important to Ollie’s story. During his time of sorrow and loss he has to relearn life as he knows it. He’s been with Samuel since they were kids. Friends, then lovers at age sixteen. They were to be married and would live happily ever after. That was cut short and now Ollie has to find a new normal. Now, life is no more touches and enveloping hugs. Being alone becomes something he gets used to but the loneliness is suffocating.
During this time of struggle, it’s pure torture to read Patchwork Paradise! Almost every memory, whether good or bad, would provoke tears. Ollie’s emotions are so profound that they impacted me with every word. Boxes of tissues. Seriously, boxes.
Over time, Ollie realizes that missing Samuel doesn’t hurt as much and that his coping and moving on isn’t the end of the world. What he never expected was to discover that Thomas, his dear friend, had always desired him. Knowing that fact propels Ollie to really think of Thomas in a new light. To consider a potential relationship with the man he’s called a friend for so long. Just when Ollie thinks it’s possible and within reach, Thomas pulls away.
Thomas pulling away becomes a common theme from then on. He’s so badly in love with Ollie that he can’t stand the thought of losing him in any way. Nothing just might be preferable to living and losing. This is infuriating to Ollie. He’s been there. Loved deeply and lost tragically. How could Thomas be so callous?!
There’s so much that goes on in this novel. From Oliver losing Samuel to the whole friendship dynamic between Oliver, Cleo, Imran and Thomas. Samuel’s parents applying unnecessary pressures on Oliver. Lastly, a baby is added to the mix. I honestly don’t know how Oliver kept it together so well. Once he grieved, he picked himself up and started taking small steps forward. WhenThomas entered the scene as a potential love interest, things became so complicated. It was worth it though because Oliver’s life would take a turn that it never would have with Samuel. He was lucky to fall in love and be loved twice in a lifetime and each one of those loves was unique and fulfilling.
Patchwork Paradise is definitely not a lighthearted story. It’s deeply emotional. Your heart will ache from Ollie’s pain. Your eyes will swell with tears, but it all worth it in the end!
About Indra Vaughn
After living in Michigan, USA for seven wonderful years, Indra Vaughn returned back to her Belgian roots. There she will continue to consume herbal tea, do yoga wherever the mat fits, and devour books while single parenting a little boy and working as a nurse.
The stories of boys and their unrequited love will no doubt keep finding their way onto the page—and hopefully into readers hands—even if it takes a little more time.
And if she gleefully posts pictures of snow-free streets in winter, you’ll have to forgive her. Those Michigan blizzards won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
Connect with Indra:
To celebrate, Indra is giving away an ebook from her backlist at EVERY BLOG STOP! She’ll also be giving out a grand prize of $25 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 2, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!