Nobody's Hero

Nobody's Hero - J. Leigh Bailey 3.5 stars

Nobody’s Hero is my first book by j. leigh bailey, but it won’t be my last. The characters and dialogue were engaging. The leads, Brad and Danny, are sweet together. They’re each struggling with growing up, and they’re doing it from very different perspectives and life views.

Brad’s effort to overcome his history with his family is his biggest motivator for every step he takes in life. They’ve done immeasurable harm to him, and his story trickles out slowly in a way where each detail felt like a new wound being scored into my heart for him.

In stark contrast, Danny has an incredibly close relationship with his whole family. He lives with them and is supported by them emotionally and financially. His closest friends are members of the family, and his coming out was far less traumatic than any moment in Brad’s life.

The book is long. At around the 30% mark, I wondered how there could still be so much left. It felt like things were going to wrap up quickly. Then, all of a sudden, I was at 70%, and I was still engaged. I’m not sure what that says about pacing, but I didn’t get bored.

The character development was my favorite part of the book. It was lovely to watch Brad transcend the horrors of his past—and present—inflicted upon him by his family and reach a place where he can be with Danny openly. Danny shows incredible patience and a lovable naiveté throughout the story. He feels much younger than Brad, despite being a year older.

I do have a few complaints. Some of the secondary storyline felt incredibly obvious from the outset. I suppose from the character perspectives (Brad’s and Danny’s), this plotline shows their personalities and youth that they don’t see the obvious until real damage occurs. There was foreshadowing for some of it, but the scene where things came to a head hit me unexpectedly with panic and pain. I was as unsure of what was happening in the moment as the characters, but in a good, grab my attention kind of way. In that respect, the writing was well done. Unfortunately, the foreshadowing and “bad guy” were fairly clear from the outset. As far a mystery/danger storyline, this was underwhelming.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA or NA m/m. It’s not going into my reread pile, but it’s sweet and worth the first read. I’ll be reading more by j. leigh bailey.

Review first posted to All About Romance. Copy of book provided by publisher.