Title: Free Hand
Author: E.M. Lindsey
Series: Iron and Works #1
Genre: LGBTQ Contemporary
When Derek Osbourne is trapped in an ATM vestibule during a storm it triggers a major panic attack. Lucky for him, a ridiculously hot Deaf florist helps him calm down and keeps him distracted.
Derek and Basil have a slow paced relationship filled with a lot of trauma and fears. They both are struggling to overcome their past abuses, so their relationship was not a fast one. This book deals with a lot of traumas, especially for Derek, who is dealing with a lot of PTSD from his abusive father. Basil has fears from his previous relationship that hold him back. While I really liked these two and their relationship, I do feel that we only get the very beginning of their relationship because it takes so long for them to get together.
I really loved the theme of found family in this book. Everyone at Iron and Works was like one big family and they took care of each other. I especially love that they all would help babysit the kids and learn sign language for their bosses deaf daughter. Overall, this was a good slow romance and a good start to a series. I am interested in reading the next one and seeing how Sam’s custody battle goes.
Trigger Warnings: (There is a TW page at the beginning of the book that goes into more depth)
- PTSD and panic attacks
- End-of-life care for an abusive elderly parent
- Death of parents, referenced and on page
- References to child abuse and homelessness
- Oppression and stereotyping of Deaf and disabled people
- Ablest language
- Reference to possible suicide of a parent