Title: Nobody’s Home by Dev Bentham
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance, M/M
Word Count: 53,000
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author
You can’t go home again—Nick’s motto for the past twenty years. He was a teenager when he and his mom left his mentally ill and abusive father back in a small town in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Nick’s made a life for himself as an artist in New York with a new show scheduled in nine months. He should be in a painting frenzy but so far he’s hanging empty canvas. Then comes the call—his estranged father has killed himself. Nick flies home to Lacland, a house crumbling from years of neglect and one very fat bulldog.
Jonas doesn’t love his job as a research lab veterinarian, although he enjoys volunteering on his boyfriend’s canine behavioral studies. But when he discovers his so called life partner is messing around, Jonas leaps at a job offer in a small town miles away.
Despite the grief swirling around Nick and Jonas, their first meeting is electric. But Nick’s only in town for a short time and Jonas is still stinging from the betrayal. They try to keep their distance, but that’s easier said than done. Especially in a small town where misery and hope share the same address.
Nobody’s Home by Dev Bentham is a leisurely paced romance between two men who unexpectedly find love in the midst of personal upheaval. Jonas is looking for a new beginning when he impulsively accepts a job in Lacland. Nick has reluctantly returned to Laclan to settle his long estranged father’s estate. They indulge in an anonymous hookup but when their paths later cross their attraction for one another is undeniable but will their unresolved pasts destroy their future?
Nick and Jonas are perfect for each other but neither is emotionally ready for a relationship. Jonas is fresh out of a long term relationship and he also has some self-esteem issues to work through. Nick is trying to make sense of his father’s mental illness as he deals with funeral arrangements and settles his dad’s estate. Agreeing that a romantic entanglement is unwise, Nick and Jonas instead agree to a friends’ only relationship.
While there is a romantic element to Nobody’s Home, it is mainly a journey of self-discovery and starting over for both Nick and Jonas. The chapters alternate between Jonas and Nick’s viewpoints and it is not until the second half of the novel that their lives fully converge. Both men are quite contemplative as they reflect on their respective pasts but the biggest obstacle standing between them are Nick’s future plans. This part of the storyline takes the longest to play out, but the realistic resolution is well worth the wait.
Nobody’s Home is an absolutely delightful story with superbly developed protagonists, adorable dogs and a wonderfully unique storyline. Dev Bentham tackles a difficult subject with sensitivity and shines a much needed light on an often misunderstood mental illness. Another magnificent romance by a very gifted storyteller that I highly recommend to fans of this genre.