Title: Something Like Thunder (Something Like #6)
Author: Jay Bell
Published: May, 2015
This isn’t a coming out story. Nor is it the tale of a lonely heart seeking companionship. This is about how I learned to fight.
My name is Nathaniel Courtney and I’m a survivor. I didn’t let the cruelty of others wear me down, and I’ve weathered the more subtle hardships of the heart. Love is a Trojan horse, slipping past your guard and leaving you ransacked and vulnerable. I emerged from that war not unscathed but as a new man. The only mistake I ever made was letting the right guy get away. Now I’ve got one more chance. This is the final battle, because if I fail now… I won’t. You’ll see. Just listen to my story, Kelly Phillips, and when I’m done, please don’t walk away. Take this weary soldier into your arms so we can find peace together.
While I enjoyed Nathaniel’s story, I didn’t find his tale as compelling as the previous instalments. Putting this book down numerous times, it took me over three months to finish it. I wouldn’t say, skip this one, as it does fill in a lot of the blanks and shows a great deal more of my favourite side character, Marcello, but there just didn’t seem to be that same pull to stay glued to the pages. It may have been plot fatigue as it’s starting to feel like we’ve seen all the stories and we’re just getting different perspectives on them now.
Going back to Nathaniel’s teen years, we see his troubled home life in the form of an abusive brother. It was an interesting take on domestic abuse, and a useful way to lead in to him spending time away from his family. Rather than them being distant, Nathaniel distanced himself. Introducing Caesar as the slow burn love interest should have been the highlight of the first half of the book, but here’s where the interconnectedness of the series brought it down. Knowing what Caesar gets up to in the other books just makes the build up and eventual fall seem a bit flat. You can see it coming, and that just doesn’t make for exciting reading.
The addition of Marcello and later on, Kelly, perked me back up again, though. One a mentor, the other a lover, both brought something rich to Nathaniel’s otherwise broken life. Marcello could be sly and cheeky at times, but he has just become this loveable, larger than life type character that you can’t wait to see pop back up again and say something whacky. The way he takes Nathaniel under his wing and helps him gain some stability and control over his life is nice to witness—so is his meddling.
With Kelly and Nathaniel trapped in Marcello’s office at the end of the last book, this one tries something different and actually takes place as a series of flashbacks, told by Nathaniel to Kelly, as the two of them bide their time until Marcello decides to let them out. With present day interludes added in throughout the book, it was a nice change of pace to the usual storytelling this series has brought us.
Seeing Nathaniel and Kelly’s relationship blossom, even from a different perspective, was still a bit repetitive, though, with some scenes repeated from the last book. It felt like a few new adventures were added, but again, I wasn’t hooked. I think I only really found myself flipping through the pages near the end once we caught up with the end of the last book and truly had new material at our fingertips. Thankfully the next book appears to have a new character, and hopefully because of that, a more gripping story. I’m certainly not done with this series—I just wish my love for it hadn’t waned a bit.
Fans of the series. If you haven’t started it, pick up Something Like Summer now.