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Abandoned - J.P. Barnaby I’ve never been so much in the grip of a M/M series with young adult protags as I’ve been with the Little Boys Lost series. I’m completely enamored with the depth of storytelling J.P Barnaby possesses and the way she incorporates issues and adversity for Brian to deal with. ABADONED is very angst and tension filled due to the situation Brian finds himself in. School has become a nightmare, fear is Brian’s shadow and the constant mockery and bullying takes its toll. Even though certain situations give a darker tone to this story it fuels the inner conflict and showcases the resilience Brian has.

Brian’s character growth really held me captivated throughout the story. At first the intense emotions protruding from Brian rubbed me raw, he is utterly devastated after the final events in book one; ENLIGHTENED, and now has to deal with the aftermath. He knows fear, he has to struggle through all of his emotions and the single minded love he feels for Jamie burns fierce. There is a mix of angst and strength to Brian’s character that drew me to him like a moth to a flame. Even though a lot of bad stuff happens to Brian the author never gets into the over dramatic. She balances it with friendship, family and their support which allows a level of realism in the story that packs a very unique emotional punch.

Throughout the chapters I could feel Brian grow in to a stronger, more centered man, and that raw edge of the first half of the story turns in to doubts whether his initial plan is worth it to give up on a new friend; Adam, and his foster parents; Carolyn and Richard Schreiber. With the first person narrative and my strong connection to Brian I was completely emerged in his mind and life. I seriously wondered at one point what he would do! It only signaled the genuine emotions and confusion coming from Brian and the way he affected me. To be honest, I don’t know if I would’ve accepted any other outcome of this story yet simultaneously it delivers a signal that J.P Barnaby has so much more in store for Brian. What that will be, I don't know, but I'm very eager to join Brian in his journey!

J.P Barnaby is one of those rare authors on my e-shelves who can pull it off to make me feel completely satisfied in a category length book. While the romance and eroticism is taking a backseat I didn’t mind it at all. I was absorbed by the internal warring and the external threats which provided fuel for such intrinsic character development it captivated me from the first word. The story spans a year and in that time so much is going on yet the author keeps it very centered on only a handful of key characters. There were dialogues that spoke of support, of courage, of love and of conquering your fears, and it strengthened the bond between them all. Without stating the obvious it held a subtle but powerful message

What this author does in ABANDONED is just amazing, it is a pure and honest kind of writing that bares the soul of a seventeen, going on eighteen year old. It offers the worst of circumstances in which various forms of love can ignite, nourish and inspire Brian on his journey. I never expected to experience such a strong connection to the person Brian is. I’m still amazed by it and savoring it every chance I get.

ABADONED blew me away as J.P. Barnaby continues the story of memorable characters who just go for your heart. This is just about as good as it gets in the M/M genre!

4.5 stars