3.5 stars. A big angsty, angst-fest! This is the intense love story of Brett and Cory, who we first meet when both men are in their teens. Brett has finally broken free of his horrible home life and is working in a bar. Cory is the son of a drunken neglectful bartender at the same bar. Brett is immediately drawn to him and the parallels between their lives makes Brett very protective. Several years pass by and the boys fall more deeply in love but it takes a tragedy to really make them admit their feelings.It's a fairly good story and Brett in particular is a tragically appealing figure, but a few things put me off. Brett's heavily accented way of speaking was distracting. I realise he had little schooling and was brought up with no parental love or nurturing but the accent felt a little like gangsta-speak rather than someone with no education. The conflict relies on Brett and Cory's refusal to admit their feelings which is not my favourite plot device. This goes on for years and became frustrating and less believable towards the end. Also the secondary characters became more one-dimensional as the story progressed and their actions lacked realism for me.Nevertheless it's an intense ride and both boys are gorgeously beautiful and self-sacrificing. I could have spent a bit more time with them in the end to see them start their new life. But there's a lovely, ride-off-into-the-sunset type of HEA that's very romantic.