4.25*This was at times a very sad, touching and difficult book to read, but it was also hopeful, positive and it left me with both tears and a smile.Both Kyle and Ryder are at the beginning of a journey. A journey of grieving and anger, mourning and healing and then of course slowly moving towards hope and love.Kyle grieves for his brother Wade, his idol and best friend and it seems he has to deal with it alone.Ryder is also trying to come back from the hell the war has unleashed on his thoughts.He doesn't sleep and when he does it's full of nightmares and fear, he's in counseling and wants to move on and get better.This quote sums up both of these young men's place in time at the beginning of this story: “His darkness needed space. Space to breathe, space to settle, and space to eventually die out … if that was even possible.” They meet and form a friendship, at first it is based on sexual attraction, even if Ryder refuses to act on it. Kyle is a virgin and Ryder is reluctant to change that.I have to say, I really appreciated that the soldier is not in the closet, he is not hiding his sexuality, right from the start, that part goes to Kyle, even if it doesn't play as huge an issue as the blurb lead me to believe. The difference in the two men's families is huge, even if Ryder is away from them, he knows they love and accept him. I saw Kyle's impressions of his parents, as cold and distant. There really is very little interaction with them, without Wade, Kyle does seem to be isolated, at least until Ryder enters his world.Once Ryder and Kyle do move on to a sexual relationship it is hot and heavy and frequent, and despite Ryder trying to be all tough and distant, he really is such a sweetheart and I loved the gift he gives to Kyle at the end.There are some very nice side characters Ressa, who is Wade's girlfriend and a very nice female character and actually I found all the supporting characters to be just that, supportive and understanding. There was a bit of drama that at first I wasn't sure about, but the longer I thought about it the more I understood it. I shed a few tears during this book, Kyle really made Wade feel present in this story, I liked him and felt sad for his loss of life and for all the young men and woman he represents. I think this book shows well, that even of you are back from the war ( or whatever battle each one of us might be fighting) that doesn't mean it's over. The demons and weight of it all is still there and just because the wounds aren't visible doesn't mean they are any less painful. But watching Ryder and Kyle and even Kyle's parents and Reesa's progress left me hopeful and happy for them. I would love to see more of these guys and what the future holds for them.