Reviewed by Tori
Liam and Trey met at an exclusive private school. Liam, on a music scholarship, is considered a charity case and subjected to some bullying. His only friend is Trey who is the son of very famous, very rich parents. Their friendship is based on a love of music and soon Liam develops a romantic crush on Trey. Unable to know if Trey reciprocates Liam’s love and scared to find out, Liam stays quiet and does whatever he can to just be with Trey. When Trey leaves school before an important talent show, Liam is hurt. When Trey capitalises on a song they collaborated on, using it to sky rocket into stardom, Liam is devastated.
Now seven years later, Liam comes face to face with the man who betrayed him. Liam, a concert violinist and music teacher, wants nothing to do with Trey. But Trey wants Liam. He’s always wanted Liam. And now he will use every trick in his arsenal, even honesty, to see if the spark they had in the past can flame into something more.
Five Ways A Boy Can Break Your Heart is a short novella about love, loss, and redemption. I am a sucker for friends to lovers and second chance love. You get both in here. Ashwood does a fine job in setting up the storyline by using Liam’s and Trey’s past to gently introduce the conflict. Two young men, who despite their extreme differences, become close friends. When circumstances and lack of communication separate them, feelings are hurt and the time that separates them only adds to the pain.
A sweet story that gets from point A to point B rather quickly as Ms. Ashwood doesn’t allow lack of communication from the past to interfere in the present. Trey presents his reasons for having to leave; reasons that had to do with is rigid father and his embarrassment over the whole situation. Liam and Trey spend time together, re establishing their friendship and taking it to a new level. Mild sex scenes help to cement their new bond.
While I like this trope, I did have some qualms. The realities behind the conflict weren’t included in this fairytale-esque story. The tension was extremely low key and I felt that both Liam and Trey’s emotions concerning each other and the conflict should have been addressed in further detail. Everything was very easy peesy. Liam forgives Trey to easily and I didn’t feel that Trey’s reasons for what he did justified the actions he took. After all, he stole a song they wrote together and made his career off of it. Of course, he compensates Liam for it but I failed to understand why Trey never got in touch with Liam after all those years. If just to say sorry.
If you’re looking for a sweet romantic short M/M read that doesn’t go the emotional angst route, than Five Ways A Boy Can Break Your Heart may be for you.