"We rocked back and forth, always kissing. And on the cold, cold ground by the flickering warmth of the fire, we made love. The way he held me, the way he looked at me, it was the closest to heaven I’d ever get without dyin'."
You know how I can tell if a book is definitely a favorite of mine? If it makes me cry all over again on my reread, even though I already know what would happen and how the story would end.
I am completely and utterly in love with Charlie and Travis. I might even be a little bit jealous of their (almost) perfect relationship.
My heart broke all over again to see how afraid and insecure Charlie was at the beginning of the book and how much he still struggled with being gay, respectively to come out. But thanks to Travis's love and never-ending patience, he became a better person and finally stood up for himself in the most amazing way possible. His love declaration at the end brought me to tears. Again.
I understand that some people would get frustrated with Charlie's behavior (especially when he - unintentionally - pushes Travis away repeatedly), but keep in mind that these guys are both still in their mid-twenties, and you just can't shake off a lifetime of shame and self-loathing in the course of a few months (I still want to beat Charlie's dad with a wet towel so hard!). Charlie is a human being, not perfect by a long shot. He struggles and he has to deal with setbacks, but he works so hard on himself to make his relationship with Travis work that I can't help but love him.
This series instantly became a favorite of mine when I read it for the first time and I still consider it a must-read for every M/M romance lover out there.