#Review — T O O C L O S E by R. Phoenix + Giveaway 🌱 Available Now

Title: Too Close

Series: N/A

Author: R. Phoenix

Genre: Gay Fiction

Length: 217 Pages

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date:

December 26, 2017



Skylar Orion's life has been complicated ever since his mother abandoned him and his sister Evie. Making ends meet seemed impossible until Tate Chandler took them in -- his knight in shining armor who promised to make life about more than just surviving.

But Tate is not the man he seemed to be, and even his whispered I love yous and generous gifts do little to soothe the pain he causes. Knowing he can't give his sister all that she deserves without Tate, Skylar stays with him, relying on bad puns and a worse sense of humor to keep up the charade. 

For his sister he will do anything, even if that means acting the responsible adult and going back to his old high school to meet Dexter Weston, the hot math teacher who can make even algebra interesting.

Sparks fly between the two of them, but with his dependence on Tate, Skylar isn't free to follow his heart. He wants what is best for Evie, but can he pass up the chance to find love that heals instead of harms? 

Warning: Graphic Domestic Abuse and Violence.




The way R. Phoenix managed to show the reader what was going on inside Sky's head throughout the book was nothing short of masterful, and while I haven't been in such an extreme situation myself, it felt both believable and relatable. — Goodreads Reviewer
Too Close is one of the most intense books I've ever read. It moves in like a freight train, shattering defenses as it passes. Sweet Sky burrows beneath your skin until you're right there with him, feeling everything that he feels, fearing what he fears. During no point in this novel did I feel like I couldn't understand Skylar, and that's an impressive proof of the author's skill. — Goodreads Reviewer



Skylar is a young man forced into taking on adult responsibilities way before his time. Caring for his younger sister, Evie, is the most important thing to him, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to see that they have a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs.

Evie struggles with Math and her teacher, Dexter Weston, sets up a meeting with Skylar to offer help. When Dexter and Skylar meet, they seem to have a pull towards each other. Dexter brings out the goofy side in Skylar that he’s forgotten or has repressed. They have fun, tell jokes and laugh, but Dexter has concerns of his own, with good reason.

Too Close by R. Phoenix is about abuse—first and foremost—and focuses primarily on the victim. This is Skylar’s story—why he does what he does—how it makes him feel—why he stays through the pain and torment of his abuser. The writing is raw and emotional and if you’ve ever been through anything similar—or know anyone that has—you will read while nodding your head through the biggest part of the book.

Skylar has a garden, his safe place, his sanctuary, and the author has shown by using a seedling that it only takes the smallest things to instill hope in someone searching for something to hold onto and draw strength from.  Without a doubt, some of the most poignant scenes in the book.

Too Close represents the bravery and strength of not only Skylar, but of Evie—who was suffering in her own way—usually in silence—and takes the reader through the point of views from both, Skylar and Dexter. Skylar, as he stays where he feels is his only option. . .and Dexter, as he watches from the outside with anticipation and reservation—needing to help—knowing he can't, but always on the ready when the time may be needed.

Dexter is a beacon for Skylar. . .a shining light always there to lend him a helping hand. He never pushed him for anything or passed judgment for his choices. They slowly work towards building their friendship while at the same time allowing Skylar the time he needs to learn to trust again. An emotional and heart wrenching journey yet gratifying and uplifting at the end. 


 * I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the author *


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R. Phoenix has an unhealthy fascination with contrasts: light and dark, heroes and villains, order and chaos. She believes that love can corrupt and power can redeem. Her muse is a sadomasochistic slave driver who thinks it's terribly amusing to give her the best ideas when she just got comfortable and warm in bed, and she passes on that torture to her readers. She also tries entirely too hard to be funny, and she mercilessly inflicts her terrible sense of humor upon anyone who speaks to her. She'd love it if you'd say hello!
You can connect with the author at these locations: Website, Twitter, Goodreads