The Firsts & Forever 8 : Belonging by Alexa Land

Title :  Belonging                      Word Count : 98000

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Can two damaged men build a future together from the shattered pieces of their lives?

Gianni Dombruso’s life was altered forever at the age of four, when his parents were murdered and he and his brothers went to live with their grandmother, the irrepressible Nana Dombruso. Now almost thirty, Gianni has spent his life bouncing from relationship to relationship, seeking but never finding the security and stability he so desperately craves.

Alexzander Tillane was one of the biggest pop stars in the world when he walked away from it all in the middle of a concert in 2002. Almost destroyed by the pressure of fame, Zan retreated to a life of quiet solitude in an effort to heal. But the cure backfired, leaving him with more issues than answers.

Zan knows he can’t give Gianni the stability he’s looking for, not with all his problems. He can’t even imagine why the beautiful younger man would want to get involved with someone so damaged, but the heat between them can’t be ignored. Giving in to it could be a huge mistake. Or maybe both men might end up right where they belong.

My Review :  It is very hard to believe that Gianni , the playboy of the  Dombruso family is this extremely vulnerable creature that we see in this novel. I had a hard time reconciling this young man who had such a low self esteem with the sexy Gianni we saw in the previous stories. I guess we all hide behind a facade sometimes and  things are not always what they appear to be. It soon becomes obvious that Gianni allowed himself to be used because he thought that was what he deserved.

Zan Tillane, the infamous pop star and Christian’s father is the first man that Gianni has truly opened up to. It was definitely not a love match at first, with Zan being a grumpy bipolar shut in. He definitely did everything to make Gianni’s life harder while he was bringing him groceries. It was only Gianni’s perseverance that kept their interactions afloat. Gianni constantly pushed  Zan’s buttons by getting him to try a different fruit on each of his visits. It was hilarious watching their foray into this newfound relationship.  However, they do not make any great strides, because Zan is too accustomed to his self imposed solitude and too scared to expose himself to the world at large. It is not until Gianni decides to move to New York to live with a man who he doesn’t love and to whom he is just a booty call, that Zan sees what he is about to lose.  

Zan braves the paparazzi and leave his self imposed solitude  to prove to  Gianni how much he means to him. Zan ends up hiding out at Nana’s house, the safest place he could ever be with Nana and her beretta and the ex mafia Dombrusos. Zan tries to shield Gianna from the paparazzi by running away from their newfound romance.  Gianni is devastated and worries about Zan, because not even Christian has been in contact with his father.  It doesn’t take long for Zan to come back to Gianni, when he realizes that his safe haven is in Gianni’s arms and that they can weather the storm of his fame together . Gianni gives Zan the strength to return to performing, something that he has always loved but with which he became so overwhelmed.

I really enjoyed this installment with these two main characters who totally complemented each other. I really liked the chemistry between them and even though there is an age gap , it did not seem that way which I liked. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

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