REVIEW: ELLA FRANK ✭ JULIEN

REVIEW: ELLA FRANK ✭ JULIENJulien by Ella Frank
Series: Confessions #2
on June 4th 2018
Genres: MM Romance, LGBT
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Goodreads
four-half-stars

People are complex.
Love a double-edged sword.
And when it comes to a broken heart, there are no rules, only time…

For the past eight years, Julien Thornton has been living with a secret. One that only a handful of people know about.

To the outside world, he has it all.
A thriving career. A loving husband. And a face that the American public fell for by the millions, on a reality show that inadvertently saved his life.

But behind the shine of celebrity, behind the easygoing nature, a crippling truth fills Julien with pain and self-loathing. It’s a truth that he fights to overcome daily with the help of his husband, Joel Priestley, and now their boyfriend, Robbie Bianchi.

But unlike Priest, Robbie doesn’t know what he’s helping Julien to fight. He doesn’t know what Julien did all those years ago. And with the anniversary of his sister’s death fast approaching, the time for explanations is running out.

And thus the question: will the princess be able to forgive the prick as the priest once did?

Only time will tell.

ROBBIE left us with a mild cliffhanger and JULIEN continues right where the first installment of the Confessions series stopped – I was excited to continue Robbie, Julien’s and Joel’s journey and see where this new situation would take them.

Robbie has moved into Julien and Priest’s apartment. It takes a special man to be able to not feel like the third wheel in an established relationship when you are the last to join but Robbie has no problem at all to grow into their new three-ways relationship. Neither do Joel or Julien for that matter. There is no jealousy, no hidden aggression, each of them enjoys their connection to the other two, which is surprising and admirable, especially because there is so much history between Joel and Julien that there is a lot of potential for somebody to feel left out.

But not Robbie.

“I know I’m a little loud. Bright colors—”
“Suit you. You’re one of the brightest, happiest people I’ve ever met, princesse. And whether you are in a black suit or a bright pink one, you will be the shiniest, loveliest person in attendance.”

He is pure light and love. Rarely have I read about a character with a pure heart like his. He stole my heart in the first book but damn, in JULIEN he is EVERYTHING. While this installment primarily deals with Julien’s past it is the flamboyant, beautiful man who almost steals the show. He is sweet, patient and so, so perceptive. He has the gift of waiting people out, listening to them and offering solutions nobody has considered. The gentleness that is inherent in Robbie is only surpassed by his mischief which makes for quite some funny situations despite the heavy subject.

“What’s not to love? Julien cooks, you worry about the important stuff, and I make everything sparkle.”
That elusive smile of Priest’s lit his face, and Robbie added, “I also love that I can do that.”
“What?”
“Make you smile. It’s so rare that it feels like a major accomplishment when it happens.”

It was hinted in ROBBIE that Julien carried a lot of guilt about his sister’s death but how much it weighs him down becomes obvious in this book. Around the anniversary of his sister’s death he just falls apart and while Priest has always been his crutch through these days Julien never managed to move past his guilt. It was harrowing and gut-wrenching to see this strong, endearing character go through his guilt and grief when it seemed nothing would help him to move on. The betrayal of those who should have been there for him was infuriating and made me feel for Julien even more. I hope that Ella writes some spiders into their beds in the next book.

“A broken heart of gold, that’s what our Julien has.”

Joel Priestley has been an enigma from the first moment I met him in the #PresLocke series. Now we get to see the real Priest, the one who cares deeply, and even has a flirtatious side. He is sexy in an over-powering way and the most intense and controlled of the three. While other people squirm under his gaze Robbie and Julien revel in his attention. He doesn’t open up easily but I loved seeing him being sweet and open with our princess. Robbie just has this gift to make people feel comfortable around him  and it was so apparent that Joel started to fall for him. Robbie’s sparkling yet gentle personality puts deep cracks in his armor. Joel is the caretaker, the person who still functions when things go to hell and seeing his love for Julien was touching.

“But you’re never stupid, Julien. You were just a little less perfect than you usually are.”

Ella gives us a little bit of Tate and Logan in this book – it’s always something I get a kick out of when I’m united with favorite characters from another series.

I have come to love these three men so much and I love them equally and wouldn’t be able to choose a favorite. They all are so incredibly different yet so perfect for each other. All of them have a goodness in them that is palpable  and while Priest’s is the least obvious it’s the most rewarding because of it.

This was a fast and satisfying read. We are being left again with a cliffy that hurts a little more than the last one but fear not, soon we’ll have Joel’s book in our hands. JULIEN is alot angstier than ROBBIE and while the first half is mostly light and fun the second half digs deep in the anxiety department. Now the wait for #3 begins. Can it be September already?

About Ella Frank

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips.

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Mailing List ✭ Website

four-half-stars

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