Over and Over Again — Cole McCade (ARC Review)

June 27, 2018

Over and Over Again by Cole McCade

TITLE: Over and Over Again
AUTHOR: Cole McCade
RELEASES: July 23rd, 2018
GENRE: Contemporary

SYNOPSIS: A ring of braided grass. A promise. Ten years of separation.

And memories of an innocent love with the power to last through time.

When Luca Ward was five years old, he swore he would love Imre Claybourne forever. Years later, that promise holds true—and when Luca finds himself shipped off to Imre’s North Yorkshire goat farm in disgrace, long-buried feelings flare back to life when he finds, in Imre, the same patiently stoic gentle giant he’d loved as a boy. The lines around Imre’s eyes may be deeper, the once-black night of his hair silvered to steel and stone…but he’s still the same slow-moving mountain of a man whose quiet-spoken warmth, gentle hands, and deep ties to his Roma heritage have always, to Luca, meant home.

The problem?

Imre is more than twice Luca’s age.

And Luca’s father’s best friend.

{GOODREADS . AMAZON (will be FREE on kindle unlimited!)}

When I first heard about this book, the author was accepting ARC requests, and I immediately had to send one in. Feel free to judge my long love of this “taboo”, but I have loved age gap romances ever since I was a preteen. My favorite theme in age gap pairings is when the older individual is this sort of mature, caring, stoic type, while the younger is still wild and angsty and trying to find their place in the world… which basically sums up Imre and Luca, but there’s so much more to it than that, too.

Some people were born with a thick skin; some developed it over time. Luca had been born with skin like paper, and a crystal heart.


Luca, the younger man, is a gay 19-going-on-20-year-old, and is an utter wreck inside. He’s got a turbulent home life, and he’s desperate for love and attention, especially from Imre, who he swears he’s been in love with practically his entire life. I know, there’s a lot of potential for the relationship to come across as “grooming”, but let me go ahead and put your mind at ease: nothing in this coupling felt inappropriate or pedophilic to me whatsoever, and Imre is honestly as innocent as they come.

He’d had massive hands, hands that could crush granite to dust, this great dark earthen god with the strength of stone, but he’d handled everything—from his tiny, bleating goat kids to the smallest clover flower to Luca himself—with a gentleness that flowed from his hands like water, imbued with a living warmth. And Luca had been in love with him, the way only little boys could be.

For every place that Luca warms my heart with his fragility and tenderness, Imre turns me into a damn puddle with how kind and gentle and honest he is. He’s a goat farmer, but he loves and cherishes all of his animals so much, and he’s just the most ridiculously precious “gentle giant” sort of character that I’m a complete sucker for. He constantly deals with this internal warring over his growing feelings for Luca, and sometimes, his perspectives are so hard to read because you can just feel the agonizing guilt in his chest.

That was the problem with Imre; he was so honest, so rawly and quietly true, that his honesty seemed to ask for the same from everyone.

Beyond the romance and Luca’s coming-of-age story, there are a few underlying currents that I loved: 1) Imre’s demisexuality, which Luca speaks frequently about how much he respects and how terrified he is of violating; and 2) Imre’s Romani heritage. There’s a scene where he mentions feeling like his culture has been watered down and erased due to the forced displacement of his ancestors, and it is absolutely heartbreaking and so incredibly necessary. Romani rep is something that I feel like we see so rarely, and I loved Cole for adding those pieces in to Imre’s fabric.

He would destroy himself for this kiss.

It’s a long book, clocking in at just under 700 pages, but it’s such a fast read, and so addicting; I literally read this in one day, and could not focus on anything else until I finished it. It is a sloooooow burn in the best way, and the payoff is passionate, sweet, and worth every moment of building up. AND there are baby goats, sooo…

Luca and Imre are my new favorite adult contemporary OTP, and I strongly encourage every single fan of contemporary romance to pick this book up ASAP! ♥




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  • Reply Norrie June 29, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    In my home town we had a lot of people of romani origin. (Till this day i don’t know if they were actually fine to be called like that or not… it used to change all the time). But lot of them was called Imre 😀
    Great review!
    Also, baby goats, omg <3 <3

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 2, 2018 at 1:19 am

      Thank you! That’s so cool, I was actually wondering if Imre was a common name! I had never heard of it before. Can I ask you how it’s typically pronounced? I keep saying it as: Im(like “him” without the h)-ree(like “free” without the f).

      • Reply Norrie July 2, 2018 at 8:28 am

        The Im part, yes, spot on! The Re part is like red without D ?

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