Rating: 5/5 stars
Series: Signs of Love, Book 2
Genres: Romance, Male/Male Romance, Contemporary, LGBT+
Publication date: August 30, 2017
“… When you’re ready to talk, come to me. Or if you’d prefer someone your own age, there’s my Leos. I’ll tell Leone and Theo to expect your call.” (Ch. 2)
One of the things that I adored about this tale was the portrayal of grief and denial. While everyone grieves in different ways, it was… not nice, exactly… to watch Percy try to work his way through his pain. He might be pretty good at lying to himself about what he’s actually feeling, but eventually everything always comes to light.
This is also a touching portrayal of learning how to be true to yourself. What does it mean to find something you want, even if you now associate said thing with a little bit of pain? What does it mean to want something you can’t have? To fight for what you want, even if it’s not the most obvious thing in the world? How far are you willing to go, what fibs are you willing to tell, in order to try for what you want?
Percy and Cal might call each other nemeses, but that just means they have strong feelings for each other. The might love their verbal sparring, but that just means that they enjoy engaging in a war of wills, a war of words. Plus their heavy use of sarcasm and wit is exactly my kind of interaction.
As someone who’s still new to the subgenre of male/male romance, I must admit that I’m absolutely adoring Sunday’s words. Each book in this series (with the exception of the companion novels) is a standalone tale and can be read as such. I adore getting to see so many men fall in love and learn to be true to themselves. I’d highly recommend this series to anyone looking for an amazing romance read.
Times like these Percy wished he had glasses so he could continuously push them up with his middle finger. (Ch. 1)
I have to admit, that is my favourite part of wearing glasses. I might wear contacts most of the time, and can get by without wearing either in my day to day activities, but there’s really nothing better than a perfectly timed glasses push with that middle digit. It’s like subliminal sarcasm.
The sarcasm that’s laced throughout this tale made me enjoy this read even more than Leo Loves Ares, and I absolutely adored that story (read why here). Seeing Percy and Cal get under each others skin in all the right ways put a huge shit eating grin on my face. Percy might have tried to convince himself that he hated Cal, but their flirty way was adorable.
It was also cute the way that both Percy and Cal hid things from the other in order to get to spend time together. Of course Cal did it first when he hid his car to prolong the time Percy was willing to drive him and Ellie to and from work. But Percy wasn’t shy about pulling the same trick with the muffin trays in order to get Cal to come over. If either of them had been more open and honest, things could’ve gone a bit smoother. Then again, I don’t think either of them were capable of making things run smoothly at the time. Too much nerves and uncertainty to be blatantly honest about these things.
I also really enjoyed the fact that Cal orchestrated the whole Sherlock Gnomes game in order to try and get the community to band together to convince Percy he really didn’t want to sell Abby’s place. Sure it was the tiniest bit selfish of him, wishing that Percy wouldn’t leave, but mostly he just wanted to bring some joy back into Percy’s life. And boy did he!
Percy enjoyed giving back to his neighbours just as much as he was touched by them doing so much for him. They really did make his place feel like a home, even if each room brought back memories that he wasn’t quite ready to face yet. Thank you, Cal, for helping Percy deal with his grief.
I’ve seen people deal with grief through denial in my own life. It’s never easy to watch, but it’s exceptionally difficult to break through before the person is willing to deal with their feelings. It takes a lot of determination, a tough backbone, and a heavy dose of compassion to do what Cal did. Helping someone out of this “funk” is not easy. Yet Cal did it with such tenderness that Percy almost didn’t realize it was happening.
On top of all of the sweet gestures thrown between the two of them (okay, mostly by Cal to help Percy through his grieving, but Percy had his moments as well), I adored the little definitions thrown between the chapters. Especially as they became more and more obvious that these definitions were Percy’s way of trying to convince himself he didn’t have positive feelings for Cal.
noun / nem . e . sis
Definition of NEMESIS
: Perseus throwing verbal grenades at Callaghan to get a rise out of him.
: Callaghan throwing verbal grenades at Perseus to get a riser out of him.
: A supposed enemy
: A frenemy
: two guys flirting
Percy had been trying for years to convince himself that the physical attraction he felt for Cal was just that and nothing deeper. I greatly enjoyed seeing his walls get slowly broken down until he was able to accept that his feelings were real. Yes, he wasn’t going to force them onto Cal. But he was willing to try and be friends with Cal and ignore his feelings… until Cal showed that he was interested in more, of course.
As a cisgender female, I can only acknowledge what I’ve read from an outside perspective. That being said, I liked the way that Cal’s sexuality was covered. From this outsider’s perspective, the way that Cal being demipansexual was discussed was enlightening. While I’ve heard the term before, Cal’s explanation of what it means helped clarify things a bit. Having never experienced it myself, I appreciated being taught what the term actually means.
All of that was a really roundabout way to say this: to me demipansexual was just a term I’d heard in passing. It related to someone who was attracted to whoever, but only wanted to be physically intimate with someone that they had a strong attraction for. While I understood the words, the meaning behind them remained just out of my reach. Thanks to Sunday (and through her words, Cal), I think I’m finally starting to understand the term more. Which is a good thing.
Cal explaining his relationship with Jenny and his relationship with Percy put things into perspective. Cal had gotten close to Jenny, so he was able to be physically attracted to her. Yet he’d always had an attraction to Percy’s mind. It wasn’t until the two began actually spending time together and getting to know each other that Cal became physically attracted to Percy.
And yes, I understand that my words aren’t nearly as eloquent as Sunday’s were – not even close. But my point is now I have a firmer grasp on the term and won’t just brush the term aside like I’d so carelessly done before. I regret that I hadn’t put more effort into understanding before now.
Bonus: Scorpio Loops Virgo
Rating: 5/5 stars
Series: Signs of Love, Book 2.5
Publication date: September 8, 2017
I loved this little glimpse into Percy and Cal’s love. To see their traditions play out in the sweetest way possible. Of course Percy couldn’t help but get himself into trouble – though, like always, it ends up working out for the boys. Silly Percy, putting on Cal’s grandfather’s ring and then not being able to get it off. Though, in a way, his klutziness worked out well for him.
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