Title: Please Don’t Go
Author: Felice Stevens
Genre: MM Romance
Danny Friedman knows all about loss. His father left to start a new family and now that his mother passed away, he’s even more certain love is only temporary. People always disappoint him in the end, a lesson he learned years ago when his summer camp best friend and secret crush disappeared without a trace, never to be heard from again. Until now.
Fifteen years ago, Paul Merola left everything behind when he ran away with his mother to escape his abusive father. He lived life on the run for years, but never forgot his best friend, Danny. When his job transfers him to the New York City office, the past collides with the present, as Paul finds himself face to face with Danny, who works there as well. To Paul’s dismay, a reluctant Danny makes it clear he has little desire to rekindle their friendship.
Despite Danny’s desire to learn what happened all those years ago, he refuses to fall victim to Paul’s charm, fearing he’s being used to get ahead. Paul, finally secure enough to stay and put down roots, must convince Danny that there is more to them than a broken promise. Not only does he want to be friends again, he wants love. He wants forever. And he wants it all with Danny.
This story somehow doesn’t fit the line of friends-to-lovers stories in the It Was Always You anthology. Danny and Paul met in a summer camp when they were kids.
We don’t how many summer camps they spent together, but one summer Paul didn’t come back. He disappeared without trace, and Danny – though never stopped hoping he’d see Paul again – never forgave him either.
Then fifteen years later, Paul shows up at Danny’s workplace, as a new employee and immediately wants to reconnect.
I didn’t like either of the main characters. Paul was pushy and stalker-ish, Danny behaved like a petulant child, refused to talk and made only (wrong) assumptions.
I liked the summer camp theme – some flashbacks would have been great – but not the execution. Trashy dirty talk, too fast development of the relationship, everything was wrapped up too easily.