Gideon, by Lily Morton

candacegreads's review

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  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes


dithkusu's review against another edition

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I didn't doubt with Lily Morton's usual writing style that I wouldn't at least get to like Gideon after his antagonistic role in the previous book, and she didn't disappoint. Gideon isn't without flaws, he's still prickly and grumpy, but with this book we're shown the full picture of him, and as he gets out from under himself and opens up and becomes happy, his tendency towards sarcastic sharpness goes out and he forges good relationships with his friends and family, with his love interest Eli, with himself.

I even saw how he could be so cutting and mean before, having been living from set to set, hotel to hotel, moving from one meaningless relationship to another, and not slowing down because then the loud silence of his loneliness would get to him. I understood his feeling of being the outsider to his circle of friends-turned-family and not knowing how to bridge that gap, the unfairness of his parents' neglect towards him while focusing the attention on younger Milo. It also reminded me of an article I read of actor Damian Lewis saying how the elite British boarding school system, sending off little boys at such a young age, brings about a form of sociopathy, something along those lines- it really is a traumatic and emotionally isolating practice when you think about it. Then add on the burden of Gideon being closeted for so many years in public and private, and you get why he is the way he is.

The psyche of Gideon aside, I liked the initial start of this book that gets the ball rolling, how Gideon who is weakened and sick has to set aside time to recover, be forced to actually take time for himself and have to take stock of his own life. Him being brought onto this octogenarian-targeted Italian cruise headed to the UK is hilarious, and his assigned nurse is the good-natured sunny Welsh Eli Jones, exactly the balm needed to his foil. It was also nice to get Eli and Gideon interacting extensively with Milo and Niall, Silas and Oz, and have Gideon's familial relationship with them strengthen and repair from his jerkassery before- I always enjoy the whole collective group of couples together in a book series. While I'm still not over Gideon's actions prior to this book, and still the messiness of the past entanglements among the group, this was the least awkward case scenario to how they would all get along going forward; their whole Spice Girl names interaction was lovely.

TBH, I didn't really feel Gideon and Eli's connection or their romance during the start. But it was after the time jump of four months later, after some time of Gideon having recuperated at Cornwall and Eli coming back from another job, when they sleep together and spend time together, that it actually clicked for me. I appreciated too that there wasn't full romance while Gideon was being nursed by Eli, that would've been messy galore and a bad reflection on Eli's character. There's also not much else to characterize Eli with aside from his love for his profession, his cheeriness and competence, and opposite nature to Gideon that makes them a good match, but he's more chill that way and all the angst goes to Gideon's end.

I liked this, but didn't fully cross the threshold to loving it. Most of it is because of my lack of attachment to Gideon and Eli's relationship until the later half, and also because of the one dimensional cartoonishness of the villain in this story, Gideon's agent Frankie. The catalyst to Gideon having been conditioned to think his gayness was something to be buried forever and that he would always be alone and unlovable, Frankie the typical money-skimming exploitative emotionally abusive agent. The cartoonish villain element is something that is in a lot of Lily Morton's plots, usually an ex, and here it was particularly pronounced, I didn't like it. The conflict of Gideon being outed/ choosing to publicly come out and deal with the changing result to his acting career would've been enough.

Also present was the constant side characters telling Gideon and Eli how much they have the hots for each other, only a blind person could miss it, etc., even in the very beginning when they were just sailing off from the cruise, as Gideon the invalid and Eli the nurse. I both like and wish it wasn't so big: the ending epilogue where it's a lot of years later and Gideon and Eli's life together is elaborated out in its domestic bliss. Nice to see they're happy with a loving thriving community and family, but also seems like a shortcut rather than showing in the book more on their relationship. Still, the idea of how lovely Gideon's life turns out after his years closeted and alone is really sweet, and glad that Eli has also found the dream career and life for him.

(Love the idea of the two distinguished British actors of Lily Morton's books here, Asa and Gideon, both finding low-key partners who are lovely and have "normie" and heroic everyday jobs. Also the idea of them interacting and in the short story following this, them becoming couple friends! They have quite a bit in common. They should've mentioned the mutual friend connection between them, via Henry/Gabe/Dylan! Lovely to see the group from Asa and Jude's book as well.)

(Just imagining Gideon as a proto-Richard Armitage/ some other beloved British actor now, especially with him having the golden voice for audiobooks, which the author probably intended!)

teenykins's review against another edition

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So we were first introduced to Gideon in Milo's book and talk about a BAAAAD impression. The guy was an ASSHOLE (yes all capital letters) even though there were some instances that clearly made you think there are things lurking under, still his assholeness was of epic proportion. Although we were introduced to Frankie and yeah the guy OWNS it when it comes to being the biggest FUCKTARD!

And now we have his book and his story. In the beginning not much changed although you could see the rock bottom coming at him at full speed and that was what Gideon needed, along with Eli, to start climbing out of the hell hole his life was.

What we came to learn was why Gideon was how he was, why he kept a leech with the name Frankie by his side and did everything Frankie asked of him and it was a near thing for me not to take Gideon away from Lily Morton and protect him.

Gideon, even though he would never admit it, was deeply scarred by the abandonment of his parents, never really feeling worthy of love, friendship, keeping everyone at bay 'cos it was dubious how he would cope if the people, for whom he felt love and/or friendship, left him, found him lacking or anything else for which he internally thought about himself. For all his self-assurance, arrogance and cockiness I think that Gideon was someone that lacked self confidence and felt that he was never important to the people that were important to him, Milo, Niall and Silas.

Man, Gideon made me bleed. And then there was Eli. His sunshine, his rock, the person, his person, to make him value himself and give in to everything he ever wanted.

This story was just brilliant not because of Eli finding, loving and treasuring Gideon, but because Gideon was finally in a place and with a person he trusted to let himself, be found, be loved and be treasured, 'cos sometimes letting yourself get everything you ever wanted is the most difficult and frightening thing you might ever do.

The epilogue was EPIC!!! And I'm waiting for the stories of Eli's friends Lily!!!

suzy76's review against another edition

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Lily Morton has quickly become a one click let me read her grocery list author for me. I absolutely adore the way she write and the characters she brings to life. I love her snarky and humour and the all round Britishness she writes. I said in a previous review for this series that Lilys' books are like a blanket and hot chocolate on a cold day, can I also amend that to these books are like a cold G&T & strawberries and cream on a hot summer day. I wholeheartedly recommend this series and this wonderful author.

madroxreads's review

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emotional funny lighthearted relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


leslie_kent's review against another edition

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**Reread. 5/8/20-5/10/20. Still liked it just as much. Oops why did I never rate it though? Weird.

"I shrug. 'I think you have to be cuddly and loveable. I’m not that.' 'No, you’re pricklier than a cross porcupine. But even cranky porcupines need a cuddle.' 'Cuddling,' I say in a revolted voice that I immediately spoil by nestling closer to him."

How I felt about Milo's brother, Gideon, at the beginning of the previous book, [b:Milo|43971325|Milo (Finding Home, #2)|Lily Morton||68263282]:

How I felt about Gideon by the end of [b:Milo|43971325|Milo (Finding Home, #2)|Lily Morton||68263282]:

So of course I had to read all about him. I couldn't rest until I knew he got his happily ever after too. If you read the previous book in the, "Finding Home," series, [b:Milo|43971325|Milo (Finding Home, #2)|Lily Morton||68263282], you'll remember that Gideon is Milo's older brother. He had been having a friends with benefits situation going on with his friend Niall up until Milo and Niall went and fell in love with each other. (No cheating involved but you should definitely read, "Milo," prior to this book to get the full picture. He initially seemed like a conceited jerk and definitely served as a small roadblock in Milo and Niall's path to happily ever after. But by the end of, "Milo," I more just felt bad for Gideon and felt like he might be a secret marshmallow. I was totally right.

Gideon is an well known actor, often featured in the tabloids, mostly because of wild shenanigans. He's also deep in the closet. Primarily because his jerk of an agent has conditioned him over the years to believe that nobody would accept him if they found out he was gay. He's carrying around tons of baggage, both because of this and because he's always been treated as less than by his parents, who make no secret in their favoritism of Milo.

So he's prickly and snappy and covers all of his feelings in a thick, outward shell of disdain and disinterest. When Gideon's hard living catches up to him, he gets seriously ill and that's how we meet Eli. Eli is the nurse hired to care for Gideon during his recovery. Unlike most other people in his life, Eli isn't intimidated by Gideon's abrasiveness. He's cheerful and funny and give as hard as he gets. Gideon doesn't really know what to make of this.

"He’s also vaguely irritating with his sunny obliviousness to bad moods. Like he’s made of mood Teflon."

"'Go for plenty of walks, not just for your health, but because it gives you space to think. You really need to do this because it seems to me that up until now you’ve just bobbed along on life’s stream like an oblivious and very grumpy cork.'"

It isn't long before delicious sparks start to fly between the pair. Gideon is finding that letting someone take care of him isn't the worst thing and is, in fact, kind of nice. There are complications but the angst was not too high. Seeing grumpy Gideon turn into a marshmallow before my eyes was everything I wanted it to be. And getting to hang out with Oz and Silas from book one, Milo and Niall from book two and even briefly Asa from, [b:Deal Maker|36801370|Deal Maker (Mixed Messages, #2)|Lily Morton||58581823] was icing on the cake. I'm starting to feel like [a:Lily Morton|4829595|Lily Morton|] can do no wrong.

"'Cariad, of course it’s you.' 'What does that mean?' 'It’s Welsh for sweetheart.' I blush with pleasure and his eyes sharpen. 'Oh, you liked that,' he says softly, his voice almost purring. 'Look at your face, Gideon. You like endearments.' I try to shrug. It’s the worst acting job I’ve ever done. 'Eh, it’s okay.' 'Oh really, let’s see. How about enaid which means soul, or annwyl which is beloved?' He draws me close. 'Or how about calon bach which means little heart?'"

dashboardlights24601's review against another edition

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funny hopeful lighthearted relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


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achillespatroclus's review

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lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A


haletostilinski1's review against another edition

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Oh, I absolutely adored this. After the last book, Gideon wasn't looking very good, not good at all, so I was wondering how Ms. Morton would redeem him and make him an enjoyable character. He really was an asshole in Milo's book.

But of course she was able to redeem him and more. Getting a character's POV and understanding their motivations and thoughts and desires really changes things. (Sometimes not if they're just a plain asshole, but most of the time it helps a lot - it certainly helps with Gideon.)

I understood him so much better in this, because before while it was understandable that Milo and Gideon's parents doted on Milo and barely thought of Gideon, that didn't make it fair for him to take it out on Milo, especially when Milo was nothing but sweet. But they get more scenes in this book and we learn it was more than what the other thought on both sides. For Milo their mother was actually smothering more than loving, and Milo points out good things Gideon has done for him, that Gideon wasn't always an asshole to him.

Plus, I really felt just how abandoned and alone Gideon truly felt in this. It doesn't excuse his behavior, but he apologizes for his actions in this and betters himself, which is what is most important when someone screws up. Gideon wanted to change, so he did - he wanted a better life for himself, so he did that. He wanted to be a better brother, friend - and then lover - so he did. But you really get how lonely he's been all this time in this book.

He drowned his loneliness in drugs, alcohol and meaningly sex, but it was never what he really wanted, but he was too scared to admit that and try to have a better life because to him he didn't deserve a better life and no one wanted him anyway, so what was the point? Even with Niall and Silas and Milo, he felt like he was on the outside looking in, like he didn't belong.

But Eli changed all that, with his kindness and firmness, and not putting up with Gideon's shit for a second. Even when Gideon tried to be an asshole to him, Eli held firm, and continued to be sweet and kind, and that through Gideon for a loop - enough for him to let Eli under his defenses.

I loved these two together, they were perfect together. Eli was patient and kind and never wavered, and he supported Gideon when he needed it most, and he got Gideon on the right path without even truly trying - I mean he wanted good things for Gideon, but I don't think it was a conscious thing for him to get Gideon to permanently stop his pervious lifestyle and change for the better - and Eli saw in Gideon a kindness, a goodness, that Gideon didn't believe he had, and showed it to him. Gideon made Eli happier than he had ever been.

The sex was also hot AF - I wanted so much more of it because these two were smokin' together - and their connection was amazing. The fact that Eli was something new in the bedroom that Gideon never knew he needed was a plus too.

I loved the other two couples from the previous books being so supportive of these two as well and being their awesome selves. (Also a short phone call appearance by Asa Jacobs from the Mixed Messages series - and probably my favorite Morton book to date - which was a nice surprise.)

I loved how things turned out for these two and how Gideon got to where he was - especially with the epilogue, that was years in the future as Morton does with her books. Eli was an important part of this story too, no doubt, as he was the primary reason for Gideon's change, but it was mainly about Gideon finding family, friends and a home.

To see where he was at the beginning, feeling so lonely and like no one wanted him, to where he was at the end with a plethora of love and family in his life, never to be lonely again? Was perfect. I absolutely adored it.

This book was just perfect, and I can't wait for more from this amazing author. I just love all of her stories, they make me so happy reading them, and they're always so well written with great main couples. I wonder who the next book will be about, and wonder if it will be in this series or we'll get a new one. There was Jesse, Eli's best friend, so I wonder if he's never. We'll see ;)

HIGHLY recommend this, it was amazing. Two massive thumbs up from me!

***ARC generously provided by the Alpha Book Club in exchange for an honest review.***

dan_the_conqueress's review against another edition

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Of all the romances I have read, this has to be the one lowest on angst, drama, and tension. It is a very pure and simple story of two people who are perfect for each other finding each other and being together, and it is utterly beautiful. Reading this story has been comfortable like sinking into soft pillows, fluffy, warm, cosy, delightful. It was the sweetest thing on earth to watch Gideon transform into the best version of himself under Eli’s influence and how naturally it happened. I never thought a story this simple, about just two people falling in love and nothing much beyond that, could be so touching, satisfying, and emotional.

I loved both characters but this is more Gideon’s story bc for him, meeting Eli and the changes he goes through as a result are more pivotal and mark a life-changing time in his life. It was absolutely heart-wrenching to see him suddenly open up and be candid, vulnerable, and kind just bc the way Eli is allows him to do so.

I can truly say that I enjoyed every single scene and page in this book (well, except for the ones featuring Frankie) and I really appreciate that Lily Morton didn’t feel the need to insert some huge drama bs towards the end of the book. Gideon and Eli’s story is one of finding peace in yourself and someone else and peaceful is exactly how it felt.