The Firsts & Forever 7: Against the Wall by Alexa Land

Title : Against the Wall            Word Count : 448 pgs

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Don’t start something you can’t finish.

It’s a cliché, but 22-year-old graffiti artist Christian lives by those words. He’s going away when he graduates from art school in just six short months. With so little time left, getting involved with gorgeous Shea Nolan has to be a mistake. If only he could make himself stay away from the sweet, sexy police officer.

Christian has a decision to make. Are a few months of happiness worth the inevitable heartbreak when it’s time to walk away?

My Review : From the very first moment we meet Christian,  the graffiti artist and Skye’s best friend, there has always been an air of mystique surrounding him. All the areas of Christian’s life is cloaked in secrecy that not even Skye is privy to. He comes off as a playboy who doesn’t really care about much but his craft.We’ve always known that he is hugely talented as a graffiti artist and is making a stamp on the world through his spray paint. He seems to be this thrill junkie who loves living life on the edge and always being chased by cops from building to building. It is after one of these escapades that he meets Chance, a prostitute who is also trying to hide his activities from the cops. Chance concocts a huge cover story of them being boyfriends in order to get Christian from under the suspicion of the cops looking for the graffiti artist Zane. The two become fast friends and end up at a club where Chance can pick up some tricks.

It is here that Chance points out the sexy guy who is staring at Christian.  That sexy guy happens to be Shea Nolan, the sexy Irish cop who we’ve come across in previous books. Shea is very shy and a little  bit of a klutz,  but Christian finds him to be very endearing.  Christian takes Shea home with the intention of having a one night stand. Their night together turns out to be magical and leaves them both wanting for more. It soon becomes clear that they will be seeing a lot more of each other since they have a lot of the same friends and run in the same circles.

Nana is up to her usual shenanigans and she definitely sets the stage for their romance to blossom albeit quite unintentional. Nana plans a wedding for her grandson Vincent and the love of his life Trevor on a cruise ship where all our favorite boys are invited. It was great to catch up with  all these characters. We also got a glimpse of Hunter and Brian whose wedding was also planned by Nana on the cruise ship. Vincent and Trevor have adopted a son since we last saw them and Christopher and Kieran has a baby on the way through a surrogate. Throughout this week long cruise,  Shea and Christian were able to foster their relationship and build a bond that neither expected.

Some of Christian’s secrets start leaking out the closer he gets to Shea. We are introduced to Finn, Shea’s brother who definitely doesn’t approve of their relationship because he thinks Christian is just a two timing user. When Finn corners Christian,  he has a huge panic attack fueled by flashbacks from a horrible experience in his life. It is after this, Christian shares his secret with Shea about being raped in his first weeks at college. He has tried to take back his sexuality in some small way by only topping his lovers and only being intimate with his clothes on. Shea doesn’t push him and he tries to take care of this beautiful vulnerable man. 

We’ve always suspected that Christian is a rich kid and this is proven when the secret comes out that his father is a famous rock star named Alexander Tillane. Another facet of Christian’s personality comes out when we see him taking care of his dad who is a bipolar OCD recluse who experiences lots of highs and debilitating lows. Although  Christian holds so much in , he is a great person who loves hard and tries to shield the ones he loves from heartache.

Christian soon reveals his biggest secret ever to Shea. He is dying from a malignant brain tumor. This was really gut wrenching and I cried buckets right alongside these characters.

As Christian’s illness becomes more pronounced, he learns the true meaning of love from all his friends and especially Shea who stays by his side throughout clinical trials. Christian has to learn to set his pride aside so that his friends and soon to be husband can help him through this devastating period in his life. The book ends on a high note with Christian experiencing some improvement from the clinical trial  drugs. Shea is positive and has hopes that Christian will make a full recovery and that they can enjoy a long and healthy life. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. As his cock started rubbing that spot deep inside me, pleasure took over. My body relaxed and I exhaled slowly. I began to stroke my cock, rocking my hips in time with his thrusts, and begged, “Harder , baby. Please.” Shea got up on his knees , his hands grasping my waist, and watched as his cock slid in and out of me. He moaned and began thrusting harder and faster, his orgasm building. When we were both close I sat up and hugged him to me, bouncing on his thick shaft as I cried out. As soon as I felt his cock twitch and the first blast of cum fill me, I began cumming, too, my cock pressed between us. He held on to me, thrusting wildly, yelling as he came. ( I really enjoyed the passion between these two. They took the greatest pleasure in each day through hot lovemaking and lots of public  sex😉.)

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