Author: Jamie Fessenden
Length: Novel (254 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 22nd, 2013)
Heat Level: Mild
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts
Blurb: Kevin Derocher was thirty-two when he walked into Tom’s office, newly married, a baby on the way, and the collar of his red flannel shirt pulled up to hide the bruises around his throat from when he hanged himself in his garage. After his initial consult, therapist Tom Langois believes he’ll never see Kevin again—but Kevin turns up three years later to make repairs on Tom’s new house.
Kevin and Tom become fast friends, and Tom begins to suspect Kevin may be interested in more than friendship. However, Kevin remains haunted by something from his childhood—something so terrible he blocked it from his mind. These suppressed memories make it impossible for Kevin to get close to anyone without panicking and lashing out, sometimes violently. But as his past begins to surface, it becomes apparent that Kevin may hold the key to a twenty-five-year-old mystery: what happened to Billy?
Review: This is a complicated story of childhood abuse and suppressed memory and how those issues impact Kevin in his dysfunctional adult life. Through love, time and patience Tom goes against advice and seeks to help Kevin with what he assumes is difficulties stemming from childhood sexual abuse. But there is more than he imagined in Kevin’s past. Throughout the beginning of the story we’re introduced to many mental health issues their symptoms and uncomfortable social reactions to them. I was thoroughly snagged into the story right from the beginning and did a lot of head scratching and deep thinking throughout. To me that is a win/win for any novel. I feel that the author did a lot of research into psychology and the study of PTSD and repressed memory, because the writing is convincing. I won’t spoil the end but I did root for the couple throughout the book even through the very uncomfortable difficult scenes. This is not a steamy, sexy romance, but rather an emotional, disturbing, murder/psychological thriller type story and I highly recommend it. I look forward to reading more from Jamie Fessenden!