Halfway Down (The Boys of Horseshoe Lake #1) - B. Ripley

Halfway Down is deeply emotional but heed the trigger warnings please

From the blurb:


I don’t know how to be alive anymore.

I didn’t plan for this, didn’t ask for this, yet here I am.Six months ago, the man I love offered me a promise I couldn’t accept. He couldn’t see the darkness inside me that had lived there since my brother’s death when we were just children. He didn’t know how broken I was, how unworthy of his love I felt. Why would he love me when my own parents couldn’t?

The day I stepped into the water was the day he learned of the monster I truly am but instead of running away Robin stayed by my side. He loves me more than I will ever deserve and I will spend the rest of my life making sure he knows how sorry I am.

I don’t know how to be alive anymore, but for him I will try.


I don’t know how to trust anymore.

I didn’t plan for this, didn’t ask for this, yet here I am.

For two years, Alex and I appeared to be on the same page, heading for a lifetime of moments together. One decision changed everything and I don’t know how to let go of the fear that lingers deep inside me. I spend my days watching him, waiting for the phone call to tell me that he’s gone again and this time he won’t be coming back.

When tragedy strikes our lives, I am terrified that this will be the moment I lose him again but I have to believe that we can make it through. I love Alex more than he thinks he deserves, but I will spend the rest of my life making sure he knows he is cherished.

I don’t know how to trust anymore, but for him I will try.

Halfway Down is a MM Romance featuring two men in love trying to survive the waves that keep crashing into their shores. Trigger warnings: suicidal ideation (intense depiction of depressive episodes), suicide attempt/death (drowning - graphic detail), traumatic childhood (kidnapping, molestation, murder - mentioned without graphic detail), the death of a character within the narrative.

SNik's Review:

First in series (Boys of Horseshoe Lake). Established couple. Hurt/comfort. Dual POV. 

Halfway Down follows Alex and Robin as they navigate rebuilding their relationship, showing that depression, fear, and feelings of unworthiness can batter the most loving relationship. There is never any doubt that Alex and Robin are committed and love each other deeply, the author writes with beautifully descriptive and emotional wording, this story was heart wrenching and tears were definitely falling during many parts of the book. Sometimes romance is not the first kiss or solely at the beginning of a relationship, sometimes romance is about sacrifice and trying and giving and striving, for and with another person, even when it hurts. 

Excellent start to a new series, and I am looking forward to more angst, more supportive secondary characters, more feelings and more of the stories that this debut author wants to tell.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Amy_TBS Review:

Halfway Down is an impressive debut novel and one of the best written depictions of depression I have read. It portrays the insidious nature of depression in a raw and beautifully haunting way. 

My heart was absolutely torn in two for Alex and Robin. I was so affected by Alex and that's a testament to B. Ripley's writing. The ability to personify Alex's character and seemingly relate the readers and create a profound empathy for his struggles. This is painful, brutal and agonisingly honest. This is the story of two men's struggle to weather the storm and Robin's support and love was extremely heartwarming and their story will stay with me long after reading it. 

There are some serious trigger warnings in Halfway Down that shouldn't be overlooked e.g. suicide, suicide ideation and attempt, depression, death of a family member and traumatic childhood (kidnapping, molestation, murder - mentioned without graphic detail).

Rating: 5 Stars

Autumn's Review:

There's not many books that leave me speechless. but this one here for sure has.

I loved this book from start to finish. The emotion was off the page. Alex and Robin, and the other boys who made appearances, fit so well together in all thier darkest ways. This book has everything a far, emotional read needs. Plot, emotion, and not much sex (sex is overrated anyways)

The way the B writes the depression for Alex, and even Robin, is written in a way that shows so much more than anyone could ever realize.

I've found my newest favorite author who I'm going to be stalking everywhere I can. Thank you for writing such a great read!

Rating: 5 Stars

Halfway Down is currently available as an e-book and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription