Tag Archive | Heavier Angst

A Mended Man (The Men of Halfway House #4) by Jaime Reese (5 Stars)

Aidan and Jesse have not lived easy lives, especially after they both suffered significantly at the hand of kidnappers. They have become extremely¬†close after working together for several years, but they haven’t moved past the friendship stage. Jesse is hospitalized after being attacked by his kidnapper, and Aidan realizes just how much he depends on Jesse for his own emotional stability. These two have a lot to overcome, but they both know it will be worth it in the end.

It was heartbreaking hearing what these two people went through during their lives, and I was brought to tears several times during the story. I loved the slow pacing and the length of time that it covered. It made every moment, every kiss, between these two more believable and emotional.

Quite a bit of the story revolves around the task force that Aidan serves on and the crimes that they are working on. I’m not a big fan of crime stories, but I liked the way the task members interacted with each. I could easily see several stories letting us get to know more about these guys.

The only reason I can see this book as part of the Men of Halfway House series is that some of the characters are related. Although it can be read as a stand-alone, every book in this series is amazing and well worth reading.

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Only Love (Only Love #1) by Garrett Leigh (4 Stars)

War and violence didn’t destroy them, but it caused a lot of damage to their lives. Can these two people open their hearts to love and finally find peace and happiness?

Max suffers from serious seizures caused by an incident in his past. He’s now living down the street from his sister in a private cottage. His adorable dog helps him get by, and he’s a generally happy, albeit lonely, person. Jed Cooper is home from the war recovering from a serious injury. He is also trying to determine how to live with the permanent illness he acquired during the war. He’s extremely quiet and really doesn’t talk very much. He needs a place to live, but staying with his brother, who happens to be married to Max’s sister, isn’t working out. However, since him and Max seem to get along pretty well, they decide to become roommates.

This was not an easy story to read. Both of these guys suffered through some serious trauma. Through flashbacks, we got a pretty good idea of the details and they weren’t pleasant. It felt very realistic and had my heart breaking thinking about the people risking their lives for their countries every day. At the same time, neither of the guys expressed self-pity. They accepted their lives for what they were and made the most of it. There was plenty of family and friend drama, but it was also enjoyable to see the support that they provided to each other. I also liked watching Jed spend time with his nieces since he was such a great uncle.

There were two things I struggled with related to the story. Since Jed hardly talked, it was really hard to buy into his relationship with Max. There were barely any deep conversations between the two of them. This lead to the second issue of feeling like I was reading two separate stories where the characters sometimes spoke with each other.

This was a very touching story about a veteran trying to return to civilian life and enjoy the love of a good man.

Link to free missing scene: Awake and Alive (Only Love #1.5)

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Originally reviewed for Swept Away By Romance. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Book Blurb

Racing for the Sun by Amy Lane (4 Stars)

Even true love can take a great deal of time to bring a relationship to fruition, but it’s worth winning the battle to get there.

Jasper “Ace” Atchison is a Staff Sergeant in Afhganistan who takes Private Sonny Daye under his protection. Although they are just friends, Ace hopes that one day it will be more than that. Ace goes home first and begins to put their dream of owning a home and car shop into action. Sonny has some demons from his past, and it will be up to Ace to help him move on with his life.

The story is told from the POV of Ace who was a strong character, but very simple in his needs. He just wanted to make Sonny’s dreams come true and hopefully spend the rest of his life with him. Sonny was a unique character who spoke very little and wanted even less out of life. He had his dreams, but the most important one was belonging to Ace. As they fumble their way through forming a loving relationship, they must deal with owning a business, the dangers of car racing, and Sonny’s past which comes back to haunt him.

Every friend of Sonny and Ace needed help in some way. It was hard seeing so many people desperately in need of being treated better. Since the story took place over several years, the relationship was very believable. The author’s writing style always has a way of making you feel like you’re part of the story. Unfortunately, the story had a sad undertone to it the entire time, but at least all of the angst was outside of the relationship.

Overall, this was an interesting story filled with characters that needed to be loved.

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Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Book Blurb

Heart Knot Mine by Lily Velden (5 Stars)

Noah finds out in a very unique way that he is gay. As he and Robert develop a friendship across the world, while living in each other’s homes, Noah also begins to falls in love with Robert. Although a bit slow to start, with a tad too much descriptive details of items that held no interest to me, the connection I eventually developed with Noah and Robert was very deep. The majority of the story is Noah telling us everything as opposed to us being a part of watching it happening. While this usually doesn’t work for me, it’s hard to argue with the results.

Once hooked, I couldn’t put the book down except to dab my eyes. I became emotionally invested in everything that happened to Noah and Robert. There are a lot of masturbation and voyeurism scenes in the story when the two aren’t together, and several steamy sex scenes once they hook up. The story builds up to some moments that are heart wrenchingly beautiful and poetic.

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Originally reviewed for Swept Away By Romance. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Book Blurb