Kept Tears by Jana Denardo

20576412Title: Kept Tears

Series:   N/A

Author: Jana Denardo

Genre: Fantasy

Length:  Novel (210 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 27th, 2014)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Eli/Mandingo

Blurb:  Having left most of his arm and his self-confidence behind in the Afghanistan desert, young veteran Aaron Santori has enough on his plate learning to use his prosthetic arm. Attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh makes life both interesting and challenging. Mentally, he’s ill prepared for meeting Rhys Edwards, a young-adult novelist from Wales and everything Aaron could want in a man. Between the scars from the explosion and his PTSD, he’s reluctant to date. Ready or not, though, Aaron finds himself jumping into the deep end of the relationship waters. 

What Aaron couldn’t possibly know is that Rhys isn’t human at all. As a prince of the Tylwyth Teg, Rhys is fae, with a list of enemies he’s accumulated over the past few centuries—among them a former lover, Morcant, who is back to make Rhys’s life miserable. An unwitting pawn in their Machiavellian fae politics, Aaron only knows he’s falling in love, never suspecting love might be his death sentence.

Purchase Link:

Review: These would ordinarily be two totally separate stories.  The first would be the gay PTSD survivor and the second would be the fae cohabiting with the human story. The book, however, blends these two elements and that proves to be rather interesting.  The story begins with Aaron simply absorbing the fact that despite his disability, someone is attracted to him. Then he embarks upon a relationship with this man.  Without his even knowing it, Aaron becomes the pawn in a dangerous game of a scorned lover where he becomes the target of his anger.  The intrigue swirls around Aaron without his ever knowing what is going on.  By the time, Aaron is clued in to what is happening. His reality is thrown a curve ball as he realizes that there is an alternate universe.  Now the story moves from a simple love story into a paranormal intrigue adventure.

There are lots of turns and unexpected plot twists in this story.  Aaron’s character runs true to form a strong military type/survivor with PTSD, and his pairing with Rhys is well done.  Both characters are well written and the paranormal realm blends well with reality making the story seem much more contemporary and less like fantasy.  The intrigue is well placed and keeps the story moving and gives it an edge that makes the story more than a simple love story between a fae and a human.

In the end, however, what makes the story endearing is how the two men, especially Rhys cares for Aaron and how Aaron is able to come out of his shell and deal with his PTSD.  The families of both men are very entertaining and provide a great backdrop for the story that unfolds about both the men as well as the action adventure portion of the story.  Excellent blending of two genres. Two thumbs up!