Series: Sequel to Five Star Review
Author: Lara Brukz
Length: Novella (134 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 19, 2013)
Heart: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: Recovering alcoholic Marshall Ellerbee still grieves the loss of his best friend and lover, Eric. After a year of sobriety, Marshall accepts a new job with the Wellness Center, something else to help him continue cleaning up his life. Things are finally improving when his sponsor has a heart attack. The counselor hired to replace him is none other than Kyle Young, the lost ex’s best friend. Kyle has always hated Marshall, but now they must work together and move past their history. When Marshall saves Eric’s life, Kyle suddenly sees Marshall in a new light. But will romance unsettle Marshall’s hard-won new stability…
Review: The m/m genre loves a broken man who must claw his way back to life and this book is no exception to the rule. How much more broken can you get than to be an alcoholic who must learn to take things one day at a time. The reader meets Marshall after he has devastated not only his own life but that of others as well. But the Marshall the reader meets is one who is reformed and trying daily to live the life he must, as he conquers those familiar twelve steps.
The book is well written, the characters nicely developed and exceedingly likable, the pacing excellent and the storyline very believable. As a contemporary story, a reader could not ask for much more. It is also a great depiction of the life of a recovering alcoholic, and how they must exist, if they are not to fall prey to their addiction. The characters of Marshall and Kyle are well crafted and their romance is intriguing to watch as Marshall must earn Kyle’s respect and Kyle must learn to overcome his prejudices. The crisis in the story, however, occurs not when Marshall encounters a roadblock, but instead it is when Kyle must confront his own prejudices and fears. The secondary characters of Eric, Cade and Dane are also written well to help propel the storyline along.
Without giving away plot secrets, the epilogue and the sport the two men are involved in is a great metaphor for the entire story and really provides the story’s theme: Sometimes in life you simply have to either be willing to step out in faith or trust that when you take that step, someone will either be there to catch you or hold you as you go.