THE MOUNTAIN by Ally Blue
The Mountain by Ally Blue
Reviewed by Cassie
Glass artist Marco Ravel jumps at the chance to create a custom piece for a rich man, both for the money and the opportunity to use his skills. When he meets Henrik Schweitzer, the man he’ll be working for, he’s blindsided by the attraction he feels. Any kind of relationship between them will be difficult, though, because the agoraphobic Henrik hasn’t left his estate in years.
Henrik doesn’t expect the handsome glass artist he hires to actually be interested in him. After all, who would want a man who is afraid to leave his own home? But Marco is interested, and Henrik plans to make the most of their liaison, however long it lasts.
Can Marco and Henrik get past the obstacles in their way, or will Henrik’s affliction put an end to their relationship before it even gets started?
The Mountain is a sweet, somewhat angsty tale of two very different men trying to figure out a way to be together. Marco’s had a pretty normal life. He’s had relationships. As the owner of a glass shop, he deals with the public often. Henrik is the opposite of Marco. Shy, reclusive, and terrified to leave his home, Henrik’s only friend is his cousin, who finds Marco’s art and buys a vase for Henrik. Through her intervention, Henrik ends up hiring Marco.
What begins as a surprise attraction soon blooms into a very hot affair, but many obstacles loom. Marco has a life in the outside world, while Henrik doesn’t. A lot of the conflict stems from Marco’s confusion over how to handle Henrik’s illness, and Henrik’s fears that Marco will grow tired of having an agoraphobic lover. Communication and patience are necessary to make their relationship work, but of course they both make missteps. I thought the issue of Henrik’s agoraphobia was dealt with well, without resorting to the “love fixes everything” trope I hate so much. Marco’s confusion was also very realistic.
I really enjoyed The Mountain. I’ve never read an Ally Blue book without some measure of angst, and The Mountain delivers it in a unique way. Anyone looking for an emotional romance with a different sort of conflict will no doubt like The Mountain as much as I did.