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Love Always

Narrated by: Michael Pauley
Length: 6 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: Romance, LGBT
4.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Nathaniel Montgomery can't escape the pressure to be perfect, to be smart, to be successful. To live the life chosen for him - one that doesn't include being gay. 

Wren Cunningham lives on the streets and does what it takes to survive. No one has ever given a damn about him, so he works with the cards he's been dealt and pushes his dreams aside. 

Fate steps in when Nate and Wren meet when they are 18. They have one week to live how they want and to pretend everything they hope for is within reach. What they don't expect is to find exactly what they need in each other...or to fall in love. 

But sometimes, love isn't enough, and goodbyes are inevitable. 

No matter how much time passes, Nate and Wren never forget. They always find their way back to each other, and that helps them make it through. It's never been a question of if they want each other. Their love is constant and never fades. Love Always.

They've spent their whole lives dreaming about their future together. To have a fighting chance, they'll need to find a different kind of strength - learning to love themselves first.

If not, their next goodbye will be their last.

©2019 Riley Hart (P)2019 Riley Hart

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Star-crossed lovers

When Nate and Wren were 18 they met and fell in love. They fell fast and they fell hard. Early on they knew the other was the proverbial one, but the obstacles between them seemed insurmountable. They lived in different worlds. And after the most fantastic week they had to part ways. But that week haunted them both for years to come.

My favourite part was by far the first. Where they first met, that intense week they spent in LA. Falling in love, starting to hope for more for themselves. Dreaming of a future that seemed impossible. That week gripped me, made me invested in both of them and their story. Because you were there for it. You were right there exploring, getting to know them, wanting to find a way for them to be together. But the inevitable happens and they are parted. Years go by before we meet again, and this is also where I detach a bit from the story. I didn’t mind the separation or the time frame of the story. I kind of liked it, but I wanted to be there for some of it. To feel it, but I never did.

On the one hand I loved the story, on the other I felt like it could have been so much more. There was so much potential to add much more depth, make us go through the rough times with Wren and Nate instead of being told about it after it happened. It made us, or at least me, detach a bit from the story. It didn’t impact me as much as it could have, as it should have. The tough times were glossed over, which made me appreciate the good ones even less. And for the most part, it’s those rough times that drives the story, they are the root cause for all of it, so to not be there for any of it was a bit off. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no way we could have been there for everything – that would have been a brick of a book, but it would have been nice to have been there for at least some of it.

Once again Michael Pauley showed us his talents as a voice actor. Not only does he have a really great voice, he also adds such passion into his words that you can feel the emotions the characters go though. I especially liked the first part of the book, where Nate and Wren got to know each other, the pull they felt. Watching them fall in love. Pauley really brought it to life and made you a part of it. And by distinguishing between the different characters with different voices it’s always easy to follow along and knowing who’s speaking. Just like always it was effortless.

Love Always was a beautiful story and I did have a great time listening, yet at the same time I also whished for a little something more. Still, it's a nice read for anyone looking for a love that can stand the test of time.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Awesome

This was an Amazing story!!!!
I loved Wren and Nate
I laughed and cried.
Thank you Riley for writing their story.

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Story

To be honest I love all Riley book except this one. I dislike Nate waiting so long to reconnect with wren. It really made me dislike the story. 5 years really after 15 years previous. Time goes by so fast their loss.😞

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    3 out of 5 stars

Right person ...wrong time...OMG... again! again!

The story is beautiful about the two men coming together. However, I had difficult times...

The timelines are questionable... hard to believe. Their lack of communication was also hard to digest. The way they solidified was too slow for me. Events happened that need not happen. Things were made difficult when could have been easier.

I believe there is no such thing as a "right person wrong time"... because love conquers all. So at times I couldn't relate to the events taking place because it was always "right person wrong time"... OMG here we go again...

There are books I love by Riley Hart ( Weight of the World, Collide, Crossroads, and many others) ... this is not one of them for the reasons stated above. However, if you can get pass my comments, then this book is awesome. Perfect narration. Hot hot scenes that are quite yummy! :P

It is indeed a well written story. Enjoy!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love across time

This isn’t a classic love story in the traditional sense and I love that. The standard boy meets boy, boy falls in love with boy, something drives them apart, and then they get their happily ever after. Wait, this book follows that structure but it takes a much longer time. As the synopsis says, “sometimes love isn’t enough, and goodbyes are inevitable.”

Nathaniel Montgomery is an unhappy young man heading off to Harvard. He’s had everything he’s ever wanted because his parents are rich. Or at least materially he’s had everything. The acceptance of his love of music? Nope. The love of a parent or acceptance that he’s gay? Yeah, not so much. Wren Cunningham has had a rough go of it. He’s living on the streets of L.A. and doing what it takes to get by. Encountering Nathaniel, he sees another entitled kid, but there’s more. He sees the loneliness and naiveté. He sees the young man who longs for acceptance but who is resigned to a life without love – from anyone.

They have one week together. One week to enjoy themselves – both, in a real way, for the first time in their lives. They do all the touristy things and also just hang together, talking and laughing. Finding what they have in common and where their lives are so desperately disparate. In essence, they fall in love. But love at eighteen can be a tricky thing. You want to believe it will last. You want to believe it will enable you to conquer the world. But it can’t, in this case, and the two young men head off into the world in very different directions and off to very different lives. The whole time they were together, I kept thinking, this is leading somewhere, right? They’re going to find a way to make it work, even though the realist in me knew it wasn’t going to happen.

And it didn’t. They parted ways and I knew it would be a long hard road for each to travel but I knew they would come back together. Did I properly anticipate how long? Or how the years would have affected each man so profoundly? Or how it might not be the right time? That you can love someone with every fiber of your being and it’s still not enough?

Man, the heartbreak.

But this is a Riley Hart romance so I knew I’d get my happy ending. And maybe a little angst in the middle.

I loved this story. I loved that it was realistic – the boys could have tried to make a go of it at eighteen but there was no way for them to succeed together, and isn’t that a tough realization. I loved that the realism continued into adulthood and that things weren’t wrapped up with a pretty bow. Life’s like that sometimes. Sometimes what we want isn’t what we need. Or what would be good for us. And I loved that, in the end, the men were meant to be together. I loved that they were eventually able to blend their lives, bringing their friends together and making a tight circle. The family we choose and all that.

As Wren says to Nathaniel:

“My love is like a wildfire…Fierce and all-consuming. Wild. Unpredictable. Beautiful. And nothing can stand in our way.”
“You know it gets me hard when you talk like that,” Nate teased and I laughed.
“You started it.”
“You’re better at it.”

Both men are good with words but in different ways. The love shines through so clearly and they always end with Love Always. So this may not be the standard love story and there may be many obstacles, but I loved it nonetheless. I’ve said that, right? That I loved it.?

Michael Pauley narrated this book and did his standard amazing job. He differentiates the voices well and adds layers to the men when they’re older. Again, another stellar performance.