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Publisher's Summary

Can he ever learn to trust again?

Brandon Weber’s old boyfriend almost beat him to death. Brandon survived, but still bears the emotional scars. Eighteen months later, he has withdrawn into himself, convinced he’ll never be able to trust another man.

Devin Macadam, fresh out of law school, has an exciting new job. He is also on the lookout for just the right guy, someone to take care of and love.

When Devin shows up for the first day of work at his new office, he meets Brandon, a legal assistant there. Sparks fly, but Brandon is paralyzed by fear and isn’t about to give another man the power to hurt him again. Devin, never one to give up easily, doesn’t want to take no for an answer. Both men feel the magic, but can their relationship ever get past the friend zone?

Too Close to the Flame is a dark-to-light, sweet romance featuring out and proud gay men, lots of feels, steamy love scenes, and a wonderful happy ending.

Trigger Warning: Too Close to the Flame contains specific memories of physical abuse. That said, the book is about Brandon’s recovery and HEA romance with Devin. Our goal is to bring attention to the often neglected issue of abuse in gay relationships.

©2020 Ryan Taylor, Joshua Harwood (P)2020 Ryan Taylor, Joshua Harwood

What listeners say about Too Close to the Flame

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Another heartfelt masterpiece by Taylor & Harwood

This book is an amazing read of healing and triumph over fear and adversity. The authors stay true to the realness of a victim's fight to become a survivor and the power and healing one person's love can make. Now add the narration of Kaeomakana Tiwanak and Brandon's and Devin's story takes you on a wild ride through all the feels! There are tears and fears, laughter and love. Strong bonds of friendships and family throughout the amazing love story of two strong and incredibly compassionate men brought to life by Tiwanak. Brandon has survived a near death beating by his ex boyfriend. The way he looks at life has drastically changed. Brandon's wounds are deep and his fear is even deeper. In comes Devin, the sweet and kind Macadam cousin. Devin takes one look at Brandon and sees not only his handsome face, but the fear and loneliness in his eyes. Devin knows immediately that Brandon is worth fighting for. No matter how much Brandon tries to push Devin away, he stays steadfast to win Brandon's heart. Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood build a world around their characters that is so real that you feel like you are living in it. The characters are so defined that they feel like your friends and neighbors. You cant help but root for them, cry for them and laugh and love with them. I can't get enough of Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwoods work. An excellent listen from two amazing authors and a new to me narrator. I highly recommend this for your listening enjoyment.

2 people found this helpful

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A beautiful, emotional, love story

Too Close to the Flame is a beautifully written story of trust and self worth about Brandon and Devin that tugged on my heart. Brandon had nearly been killed by his ex and is hesitant to get into another relationship. Devin is new to the firm, where Brandon works, and has an instant connection when he shakes Brandon's hand. I love how patient Devin was with Brandon even after learning his secret. I love watching their journey as they fell in love together and Brandon is able to trust again. I love how the firm is a big family. Though this is a beautiful story on it's own, I love how we see characters from other books in this one. Definitely recommend. Narrator Kaeomakana Tiwanak does an fabulous job. I love how his emotions come across in his narration. He is definitely one of my favorite narrators.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Story, Poor Performance

I enjoyed the story. The authors always do well bringing a sense of realism into their plots and characters. I personally found the narration lacking. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and this just wasn’t very good. I feel badly being negative about it. However, at the very least, it was hard to distinguish between characters’ voices/POV throughout the book purely based on the audio. I would not listen to this narrator/voice artist again.

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Wonderful!

I’d already read the book and left a 5 star review for the story, it’s a great read! I didn’t know what to expect with the audiobook, I had never heard Kaeomakana narrate before. I loved it! He has a way of drawing you in to the story that makes it more exciting. Awesome narrator, phenomenal story, I’m hooked!

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A heartwarming story

Brandon had to overcome his fears and anxiety after being in an abusive relationship. Devin with his strong steady support and love helps Brandon be brave enough to try. I had read this book on Kindle prior to listening to the Audible version. It was worth the reread/listen. This book leaves you feeling good with a HEA. The only downside to the book was I struggled with the narrator at times

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wow

beautiful. the book just comes alive. so much emotion. it will make you laugh and cry. loved it!!!

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Beautiful Read

I’ve read the book and loved Brandon and Devin’s story. I loved the audio version too. The narrator does a great job of bringing another dimension to this heartfelt story. A story of love, trust and courage that brings awareness to some difficult issues. Devin and Brandon are perfect for one another. This is one of my favorite stories.

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Tugs at your heartstrings and doesn’t let go

I was THRILLED when I heard this book was coming to Audible. It was what introduced me to Ryan Taylor & Josh Harwood, and I haven’t looked back. After reading it, I went straight to Amazon to purchase everything they’ve put out. It just made that kind of impact, and has, once again, in audiobook format. The narrator did a phenomenal job with these wonderful characters, and told their story with the sincerity it deserved. I wasn’t let down by the voices he gave Brandon and Devin, as well as the other characters in the story. This is the authors’ first audiobook and I HOPE it’s not their last. (Original review below) *********************** When we first meet Brandon, it’s not under the best circumstances. We get a look at the tragic aftermath of an abusive relationship. (TW: abuse happens off-page, but is discussed several times, including one with full details). It’s heartbreaking but is an important part of the story. It is a piece of Brandon’s history, and explains why he is the way he is. This is his story of healing and love, and it’s both emotional and beautiful. Brandon’s character is a survivor, who is at the precipice of being able to move forward, and LIVE his life, but he needs some gentle prodding. Devin’s arrival could be just the prodding he needs. I love Brandon and Devin, together and separately. They were both written with sincerity and I felt like they were someone I could actually be friends with in real life. Brandon deserved the world, and if I had to draw up a character to fulfill that I would’ve chosen someone like Devin as well. While Devin brought out the best in Bran, it was also true in reverse. They both had something that just made the other...better. It was really enjoyable to watch as the story progressed. They were adorable and just made my heart happy. I loved the way this story was written. It captivated me from the start. I was attached to Brandon by the time chapter one began and was rooting for him. I enjoyed the dynamics at the law firm. Yes, they were serious lawyers, and put in the work, but they were also a family (some were actually related). You could tell they had a history, and genuinely cared about their employees. They could also be playful and witty. They were all multidimensional, and well developed. After discovering several couples actually had their own books, I became eager to read them. Overall, at the end of the day, this is a very well put together story, and I would absolutely recommend it. It will tug at your heartstrings and will have you running through several emotions before it’s over. I promise you that you will be smiling more than anything. With everything going on in the world these days, things that make you smile are precious. Read this book. I promise you’ll like it.

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  • Vania
  • 11-09-20

A really powerful, emotional, hurt/comfort story.

TRIGGER WARNING: the book opens with a prologue describing the horrors Brandon suffers at the hand of his boyfriend: he’s been beaten, raped and left for dead. The story proper begins one year and a half later, in which Brandon hasn’t even remotely entertained the idea of getting anywhere near another man, as a matter of fact, even friendly touches from men he works with and knows well make him nervous. Enter the new layer in his firm: Devin Macadam, attractive and charming, and with an immediate crush on Brandon. With his patience and good nature he manages to slowly but surely get past Brandon’s defence and to let him be comfortable again. I’ve had books from these two authors on my trl for a while and I am so glad I took a chance on them. I really enjoyed their writing style and I will surely catch up with the other couples. Also, I love Kaeomakana Tiwanak’s sweet voice and in this case I think it was just perfect, especially for Brandon!

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  • DanNet
  • 11-09-20

Sweet story

I loved this book when I read it a few months ago and I was happy to be able to listen to it now. I will be honest that I wasn't sure it was the right narrator in the beginning but actually as I continued to listen I thought he did a good job with the story and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. It is such a lovely story about trauma, strength, patience and a beautiful love story 💜

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  • Laora
  • 11-02-20

Two hurt men, find love with eachother.

This is the fifth book by the writing couple Josh & Ryan and their first audiobook. It is another great book set in the law world of characters from their earlier books The story is build up in a natural flow and shows the development of the main characters Brandon & Devin. Brandon has emotional scars due to the attack/ rape by his ex-partner and doesn't know if he can trust and love again. Devin has been deceived by his boyfriend and one of their friends, and is glad to start over in a new city at the firm of his nephew Liam and his partners. Brandon is a legal assistant in the same office.The men have an almost instant click, but start off as friends. I would recommend this audiobook if you like strong, sweet men who are not afraid to live out and proud. It tackles the sensitive subject of partner abuse in same sex relationships.The book ends of course with a HEA. The narrator has a voice and pace that drew me in the story quickly and after the prologue I could not put it down. Trigger warning: domestic violence is described and rape mentioned.