His Boy to Restore ~ Hayden Hall
I just want to start by saying that I really loved a lot of this book. It was angsty with a lot of push and pull but it was justified in the context of the book, and it really worked for me and it also had a lot of very sweet moments that I absolutely loved. I also absolutely love how many online interactions there were in the book, as someone who loves to see that in books, I was so happy with how much of it was in the book.
Dante has OCD and he is starting to see a new therapist, his name is Grant. Grant is a daddy but he almost gave up on having a boy. He decides to participate in the Christmas promotion on Cuffd for daddies to write a letter to find a boy who would be perfect for them, a boy writes him back and he starts to fall for him, what he doesn't know is that it's Dante. But Grant and Dante are also falling for each other during their therapy sessions and they keep pushing each other away because they cannot be together because of their client and patient relationship. But they end up discovering who each other are and they fall in love.
“I would like to sit under your tree. I would like you to ask me if I’m cold and when I say yes — because I’ll say yes — I would like you to sit next to me and wrap your arms around me until I’m warm. I would like to wake up next to you. I would like to fall asleep next to you the night after. And I would like that to happen every day and every night for the rest of our lives.”
First, I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Grant was a really good daddy and he was super good to Dante. I like the daddies who aren't perfect and who are flawed but still strong and always there for their boys, and he was a very good example of that. He was a perfect mix of everything and his character really worked for me. I also really loved Dante, he was such a strong boy and he was so damn sweet, I just wanted to give him a big hug for most of the book and I really loved his character.
Second, I really enjoyed the entire pacing of this book. It was quite heavy on the angst and the push and pull but it was cut by really tender moments between the main characters that just really worked for me. Also, once again, I loved how many online interactions there were in this book, that really worked for me and I loved all of those interactions so much.
Third, I really enjoyed this book, a lot. But I just want to talk about something that really matters to me, something I’m always outspoken about and that I didn’t really enjoy how it was portrayed in this book, and that is mental health disorders. Most specifically the fact that it doesn’t just get better and is totally cured because you fall in love. Dante has pretty severe OCD and anxiety and I thought the portrayal of it was really good during the book, I did really enjoy how his everyday life was portrayed. But once Dante truly falls in love with Grant, it seems like his OCD and anxiety just disappear and that he doesn’t have much of it anymore.
I understand that he was in therapy and learning how to keep to manage it, which is lovely, but I just felt like it disappeared more because he was in love than because he was in therapy and learning tools to manage his OCD and anxiety. This is just not realistic enough for me because your mental health disorders just don't disappear because you fall in love with someone. But I did enjoy a big part of the portrayal of mental illness in this book and how it was shown how important therapy can be.
Fourth, also, as someone who started to study to be a therapist and who learnt in great details how and why a therapist and client relationship is not a good idea, I appreciated how this book portrayed it as such and how it could be a very imbalanced relationship because they are therapist and client. I really enjoyed how the book addressed it and how it was shown as something that wasn’t ideal because there could be a power imbalance in their personal relationship because of their professional relationship.
While I had some minor issues with this book, I really enjoyed a lot of the book and I had a very good time reading it.