Series: The Xander Series
Author: Joey James Hook
Genre: Contemporary M/F and M/M romance
Length: Novel (426 pages)
Publisher: Silver publishing (August 4th, 2012)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3.5Hearts
All it takes is one, two, three. This is the story of one man’s battle through abuse, addiction, and heartbreak toward unknown happiness. It’ll take a miracle, and he’s banking on someone to be that for him before he gives up.
Life was harsh and cruel to Kaleb Xander from very early on, and he was never given a moment’s rest to breathe and recover from the misery. Once freed from years in a cage of wrath and perverted lust, he found the real world to be a mere step up from what he was used to. Abuse was simply coming in different guises and through new avenues now.
All it should take is one person to reach out their hand and save this lost soul–but Kaleb is more complicated than that. It’ll take a miracle, and he’s banking on someone to be just that for him before he gives it all up.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains scenes of rape or near rape and severe abuse. This book contains scenes of MF and MM intimacy.
Review: First of all, I want to say, Wow! What a cover. I keep going back and looking at it over and over. To me the more I read the more I even loved the cover. It was as if I could see into Kaleb.
This book is not for the faint at heart. I will warn you it has some very vivid and harsh scenes. That is one thing I really liked about it, the raw truthfulness. Life isn’t all roses and gushy love-at-first sight and happy-ever-after. The reality is that abuse exists, Physical, sexual and emotional. Sometimes it’s not always from others. Sometimes we abuse ourselves.
In this case, Kaleb Xander was a victim of sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse from the time I he was four and his mother left him. What he went through was unimaginable hell. This may be a fictional story, but sad to say there are probably more Kalebs out there than we know. This story is how he dealt with the abuse inflicted by both his father and brother. Sadly, he found release in drugs, alcohol and self-mutilation. I warned you. This is not for the faint at heart.
Kaleb goes through a lot physically and emotionally. Does he rise from the drugs and abuse? Does he find true love? Can he ever open up and trust anyone?
This is a very long story. I don’t mind long stories. I actually like them. I found it a bit skippy at times. The first half to two-thirds of the book tended to span a lot of years. Starting when Kaleb was only four ’til the time he is almost thirty. Some chapters went from a day to a month to two years at a time. Character also appeared and disappeared. There was a lot descriptive detail that could be left out and more of some of the characters added. But all in all this was a very good poignant story. A great change of pace from the run of the mill sugary romance. I suggest you grit your teeth and give it a go.
I recommend this book to anyone that is looking for something different, not sugar-coated lovey-dovey fairytale romance. Also, anyone that likes gritty down and dirty rugged life.
WARNING! This story does contain violence, rape and abuse. Also drugs and alcohol.