Loving Liam (Liverpool Boys Series Book 3) by Alex J. Adams

Loving Liam is the third book in the Liverpool Boys series, can be read standalone but best enjoyed after Saving Ziggy as both MCs first appear there and the story is informed from that book. Heed the trigger warnings!

Sometimes you just need a little push to help yourself. After having met under not great circumstances 5 years ago, John and Liam find a new connection and possibly a little glimmer of something special. Neither man needs saving, but a little caring and support can turn into an unexpected love.

From the blurb:

Five years. That’s how long it had been since my life as I knew it had ended.

Others that had suffered a similar fate, had fallen on their feet. They had the perfect life and the perfect partner, but I wasn’t bitter. No, not me.

Who was I trying to kid? I was as bitter as hell.

Because while their life was perfect, mine had fallen apart. Holding down a job was nigh on impossible. I’d been in and out of rehab so many times, I didn’t even have to tell them my name.

I used to be someone’s little, now I was just a nobody, a nobody that belonged nowhere. Or that’s how it felt.

How hard could it be to forget my past? Damned hard, that was obvious.

The real problem? I wasn’t sure I had it in me to care anymore about me or anyone else, but when Detective John Palmer turns up, offering to help, I wonder if he’s what I’ve been waiting for.

Time is short. Hours, minutes and seconds are running through my fingers like sand in an hourglass.

Can he stem the flow? Can he be the one to give me what I need, what I desperately crave? Only time will tell.

But when my past catches up with me, I’ll need him more than I ever thought possible.

Loving Liam is the third book in the Liverpool Boys series. It can be read as a standalone but it may be advantageous to read Saving Ziggy first.

TW for drug use

SNik's review:

Third in series (Liverpool Boys), can be read as a standalone but might be better after reading the first in the series (Saving Ziggy). Light BDSM. Daddy/boy. Age gap. Hurt/comfort. Dual POV. Heed content warnings. 

Liam is still struggling to overcome his past, the trauma from 5 years ago along with his addiction problems have him doubting he will ever get past his fears and doubts. When Detective John Palmer happens into Liam’s shop for a haircut, even though they share a gritty past, they establish a new connection with all sorts of possibilities. 

Both John and Liam do some self discovery, make mistakes, achieve some personal growth, and try to be a supportive and caring partner for the other. I enjoyed that this story was not as dark as Saving Ziggy, the first book in the series, and there were hurdles overcome by them individually and they always tried to honestly communicate. John and Liam learn from each other, and I enjoyed their finding unexpected happiness together, they deserved it.

Sheena's review:

This is the third in a series, it can be read standalone but really would benefit from having read Saving Ziggy first, as there is a lot of crossover with that story, and it informs the events of this novel. Both MCs first appear in Ziggy. This is hurt/comfort, age gap, Daddy-lite, with lots of past trauma to overcome and as ever with Alex, a hard-won HEA. Do heed the trigger warnings, they're there for good reasons!

We first meet Liam in Saving Ziggy where he's a little to an abusive Daddy who ends up almost killing him and is now behind bars (where he should rot, IMO). This is now years later and Liam no longer wishes to be a little but still wants to be cared for and looked after. He's had years to try and get over the events in Ziggy, and has tried to numb the pain with drugs, alcohol and meaningless encounters. He's turned somewhat of a corner when he meets one of the Detectives again by chance who was involved in his case, and immediately they're drawn together. Liam is understandably wary, as is John who is 24 years older than Liam.

The two are drawn together as Liam loves to be looked after and John initially just really wants to help Liam, but their chemistry is fairly intense and they soon become more. Liam no longer wants to be a little but still loves having a Daddy, although this is very much Daddy-lite, there's some Daddy-boy talk, some discipline for a brat, and perhaps a pinch of the little he once was. I liked the development of their relationship, once John learned to communicate - I still think Liam could perhaps have benefited from therapy but I loved his arc - seeing him reconnect with Ziggy was a fun callback and I was so happy they both got that closure.

Overall this was a change of pace for Alex, it's fairly hot in places, dark and the trigger warnings are there for good reason, but as always, it's a great HEA and I'm happy to see Liam get the happiness he truly deserves.

Reed Kaye's review:

This story just tore my heart apart. Every story in this series is a heartbreaker but in this case I just wanted to adopt Liam. I advise reading the stories before this because while this could be a standalone it helps to have knowledge of the background and previous characters.

Liam had been through a major trauma that he is not recovering from in the least. He knows it is something he needs to deal with because it is something that will be a part of him the rest of his life. The problem seems to be instead of accepting professional help he is floundering looking for a miracle.
Detective John Palmer was involved in the events that lead up to Liam’s problems. He didn’t handle things five years ago when all the situations were front and center and didn’t help Liam in the aftermath. He has regretted it but until a chance encounter with Liam he has done nothing about it. When these two run across each other again things keep happening to throw these two together.

There are a number of twists and issues needing resolved in this story and the author has done a great job of doing so. While this has a sort of hea, I’m not sure it’s possible for Liam to ever regain a innocent happy.

Molly Otto's review:

Liam is a boy who was hurt in the worse way possible from his Daddy (yes this is a daddy boy kink story with impact play) making it hard for him to be able to move on and trust again. John was one of the police officers that saved his life, yet let him slop through the cracks once the case was solved. Both men need eafh others to have a real life and love balance, for John, to not realize he is not only his job, and for Liam to realize he's not forgettable.

We are five years later, and time hasn't been kind to either making this that perfect moment for a chance. Both characters make mistakes, and that's what makes this grittier romance real. These are real men with real pasts who are just trying to survive in this not so great world.

Alex dove into the world on daddy/boy kink with impact play and handled it in a way that if you are new to the scene you can understand the choices and confusion on what may be viewed as right and wrong from someone new to it. The choices were handled delicately, and in a manner, a novice may understand these wants. Great job, and I'm also happy to see Liam get his long-awaited hea.

This can be read as a standalone, but I would highly recommend reading SAVING ZIGGY prior to seeing the whole scope of these men's past and how much it shaped them to be as they are.

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