Fading was one of my first experiences with blogging and the book world. It opened me up to many new experiences and frankly touched my heart. EK Blair is a talented author and her skill is very adeptly portrayed in Freeing, the companion novel to Fading. During Fading and Candace's ordeal we meet her gay best friend, Jase, who is the main character in Freeing.Jase has spent most of his life running from who is really is. First, to hide the pain of the loss of his sister, then his parents in difference, and finally the stark reality of his sexual orientation. No matter how many women he tried to bury the truth in he couldn't hide the fact that he was attracted to men any longer. Desperate to one day be at peace with himself, he flees to the University of Washington.It is there that he meets the first of the people who will ultimately lead him to acceptance, Candace. With her friendship he experiences a level of compassion and understanding that he couldn't get even from his own parents.The second person who challenges Jase to accept who he is, is Mark a fellow architecture classmate. With previous lovers, Jase practiced the love them and leave them attitude. A real relationship would mean that he truly is gay and there would be no turning back. He would have to face the judgment and condemnation by his peers and his family. Only he can't make himself behave the same way with Mark.I've never been this way before with anyone else, drawn to them like I am with Mark. Getting to know each other, I like it, and I like him, but at the same time, I'm wondering what this all means.Facing a relationship with Mark stirs up all of the fears and hang ups that Jase has always had about being committed to another man. They go on a few dates together - definitely more than Jase has had with any other man - and the attraction and connection he feels with Mark deepens into something that he can no longer deny. So he does what he always does. He runs.This is almost too much for me to deal with. I thought that maybe I was ready for this; I thought I knew who I was, but it turns out, I'm still confused as shit.He made me realize just how scared of these feelings I actually am. I don't want a relationship with him because I'm afraid that will make it too real for me. Define me. Gay. Fag. Queer. Fuck. Am I ready for that?Does Jase bite the bullet and face his fears for love?While in the throes of his decision, the unthinkable happens to his best friend. Her rape rocks him to his core and the description of the events from his point of view added so much to the experience of Fading. It was the perfect balance of similar events with fresh new information.We really didn't have much insight into Jase and Mark's relationship in the first book, so seeing the backstory to how they handle Candace's rape and recovery was awesome. Jase was able to come to terms somewhat with his sexuality and let's Mark back in and Mark really steps up. He's there for Candace when she needs support and friendship and ultimately this is what speaks to Jase the most.Though Jase is terrified of what being in a relationship with Mark will mean for him, he decides to give him a chance. As they work together to bring Cadence back to a healthy place, their relationship flourishes. Only time will tell if love will free Jase from the restrictions he's put on himself.I have to say, I honestly didn't know what reaction to expect when I received this ARC. The writing wasn't the question I just don't think I've ever actually read an M/M novel before. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Jase and Mark and their journey to happiness and acceptance.Casting: Mark and Jase *****Visit my blog for more reviews and recommendations!Join the Miss Construed Review's Facebook community!