Unearthing Cole is book one in AM Arthur's Discovering Me series. It was originally published in 2013, but is now being re-released with no new content.
This book explores abuse and hoarding, so be warned if these are triggers for you.
Jeremy and Cole meet while Cole is in town dealing with his mother's house. The connection and attraction between Cole and Jeremy is strong, yet Cole is only in town for a short time.
This is a story with some fascinating characters and their many layers of issues. Cole has to deal with his parent's lifetime of hoarding. I find this aspect to be extremely well explored. Not only does he have to physically deal with all their junk, but also the mental effects of their hoarding upon himself. I truly love the manner is which the author demonstrates this issue, including the way he easily fell prey to an abuser.
As well, the effects of his being abused are well illustrated. Cole is a man who's running from his ex, as well as his past. He has to deal with a lifetime of shame and feeling unloved. It's a lot to deal with, but the author does a great weaving it all together.
Then there's Jeremy, a small town man who helps Cole get his mom's property ready to sell. They fall into a casual relationship quickly, and soon the attraction is front and center. Jeremy himself, is also a wounded soul, yet not as effected by his past as Cole.
This is a story that heavily explores shame and it's long lasting effects. It's also a story of dealing with one's past and coming out better on the other side.
On top of all the heavy issues, the story is a slow burn romance which is well done. There is plenty of attraction and chemistry to keep things a little lighter. The healing process is written with care and compassion, never feeling rushed.
I do need to say I was disappointed by a couple of things, but I don't really want to give any spoilers here. Overall, I am thrilled to have discovered this book.