Series: Whispering Pines Ranch 05
Author: S.J.D. Peterson
Genre: Contemporary, Western
Length: Novel (201pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (8th October 2012)
Heat Level: Moderate – High
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: At an early age, Jess Jenkins learned to take care of his family and friends and put their needs before his own. He dreamed of finding the same simple happiness his parents had and followed their example. Then Lorcan James broke his heart and an automobile accident broke his independent spirit. Now that’s all Jess is: a broken shadow of the man he used to be, still confined to a wheelchair after six months.
Jess is finally forced to put himself first and accept the help he needs on his journey toward recovery. Though pain, frustration, and depression leave him bitter and eager to push people away, his friends refuse to allow him to wallow in self-pity. Jack has only glimpsed the man beneath Jess’s angry shell, but he takes it upon himself to prove Jess isn’t broken. And Collin is determined to bring back the sweet man he once knew. The simple, happy life Jess has always wanted is there for the taking—all he has to do is open his eyes and see it.
Review: This story is part of a series and best read in order. Jess is recovering from crashing his truck six months earlier; he is still in a wheelchair and just being released from the rehab clinic. If he wants to walk again, he has a long painful time ahead of him. Luckily, he has the support of two men Jack, his physical therapist and Collin, his childhood best friend’s younger brother. Jack has caught glimpses of the sweet big-hearted man Jess was before his accident and he wants to know him better. It isn’t long before he wants Jess all to himself, but Collin has a huge crush on Jess and Jess finally begins to see a future for himself, if he can just let go of the pain and anger.
Well, S.J.D. has given us a story that is tinged with pain and anger, hope and happiness, doubts and despair along with forgiveness and love. Jess is still facing an incredible amount of pain in his rehabilitation and he has bouts of anger and frustration which can be directed at the people closest to him. it’s not what he wants to do but sometimes it just all gets too much to bear. Jack is a man who has slowly fallen in love with one of his patients, and as he gets closer to Jess he is made to wonder if his actions are the best thing for Jess. Jess also knows that he has to talk to Collin, because although he loves the man like a little brother, he will never love him like Collin wants.
This is a wonderfully written story that takes us alongside Jess on his journey of not only love, but of finding a new path to forge as he realizes his new life. S.J.D. drags us into Jess’s life with her hands around our throats; forcing us to see and feel Jess’s frustration and anger, his hopelessness at times as he looks at the obstacles he faces just to walk again, the unimaginable pain he endures on a daily basis and finally to the hope and love he has when he begins to see Jack as more than just a friend. She makes us see Jack’s dilemma and the choices he has to make and then finally she gives us Collin’s devastation as he realizes he will never have Jess’s heart the way he wants.
This story is not for those who want an easy read or huge conflicts being brought to bear, this story is about a man struggling with the painful changes in his life, of lingering guilt, of self-doubts and of finding love when he never thought he would. It’s about letting go of the past and looking to the future and of course it’s about the hot sexy men 😉 dealing with what life has thrown them and finding love and happiness. Jess and Jack are two men that you want to have their perfect happy ever after, they are wonderful together and when they make love, you know it is truly making love.
I must admit to loving this book, but I was slightly disappointed when Jess was made to face that he wasn’t the only one who has ever been injured. I felt that Jess should have erupted a little bit more before he broke down, raged a bit more at fate because in situations when you are made to confront the truth you are not quite rational. Other than that S.J.D. has given us yet another emotional draining story that leaves you wanting more… maybe Collin or Jack’s friend, Troy?
So I have to recommend this to those who love damaged cowboys finding their way back to living ranch life, physical therapists finding love with their cowboy patients, hot sex and a very happy ending.