Title: Craving’s Creek
Author: Mel Bossa
Genre: New Adult Romance
Length: Novel (220 pages)
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (18 Aug 2015)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts
Blurb: Fourteen years ago, on a sun-drenched summer day on the banks of Craving’s Creek, Ryde swore to his best friend, Alistair, he’d never be alone in the world. Though Alistair was destined for the priesthood, there was something beyond holy about the first kiss they shared.
But a fun camping trip went horribly wrong when Alistair was involved in a horrific incident.
Now, at age thirty-one, Ryde’s life is a mess of alcohol and the painful imprint of his last look into Alistair’s desperate eyes. Since the evil they encountered on that shore, his first love has been lost to him—until he learns a friend’s wedding is to be officiated by a priest named Father Alistair Genet.
Amid the rush of emotions, one thought crystallizes: Ryde’s love for Alistair not only has never died, it’s stronger than ever. Stronger than God. But it may be no match for the church…and the repressed memories that are slowly tearing Alistair’s mind apart.
Warning: Contains a drunken confessional, a self-destructive clergyman, and a fight to the spiritual death for love.
Product Link: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5537/cravings-creek
Review: Craving’s Creek is a complex and intense storyline which is nowhere near as light-hearted as I assumed from the title alone. In fact, it’s more complex than the blurb implies as well.
The story is about Ryde, he was just a normal kid on a camping trip when something horrible happened to his best friend/first love, Alistair. However, of course it is never that simple, Alistair also comes from a highly religious family and everyone but Ryde seems to have Alistair earmarked for the priesthood.
Skip ahead a few years we find that Ryde had not coped with things very well – he is an alcoholic although with the support of his family is now recovering. During this process Ryde encounters Alistair again. But things aren’t always as they seem. Alistair is totally different and not just because of the horrific event he went through. It’s complicated but there is hope that Alistair will get better, as well will Ryde.
This is the second Mel Bossa story I’ve reviewed and not only have I just realised I’ve given this book the same rating, but also the same issues I had with ‘Where You’ll Find Him’ arise here in ‘Craving’s Creek’.
To quote myself: “Some of the more serious and deeper emotions were more difficult to connect with, which I found disappointing…”
Okay, this is an intense book and this feeling I got because this is a deeply psychological read. Both MCs live in their heads, somewhat, Alistair more literally than Ryde.
The book also deals with multiple mental disorders. Unlike some stories, I was pleased that the issues here were not grossly underrepresented or made light of (something that really pisses me off). However, there was so much going on here that things were not always so clear in the beginning, whether unintentionally or intentionally, I think this type of book with the issues it touches needs to be clear and concise from the get go.
Primary example of this, we are told that something horrific happened to Alistair. That is true, though I would vouch in some ways it was more horrific on Ryde. This “accident” was left shrouded in mystery for too long in my opinion. Part of me just wishes it was put on Front Street so we could move onto the subsequent issues that need to be dealt with because Alistair did not get the help he required in the first place. As to where Alistair’s “fits” or “migraines” fit in to everything, I still have no clue.
I’m fairly sure that was not too spoilerish! And one final quote from my previous review which is also very relevant to this story. “I felt that sometimes the story stopped and started up again in some places”. In this story, I am sure that this stopping and starting aspect is all a part of the charm and the psychology.
Sometimes, as the saying goes, “using five words used when one would suffice”, and this aided to the stop/start feel of everything. I suppose, that isn’t always a big deal in most cases. But I’m impatient and have simple needs – a flowing story in a somewhat logical order so that even the chaos of the characters makes sense.
Overall, this is a fascinating story. The mental issues raised, while not novel, are dealt with well enough and not a complete mind-fuck (in a good way). I think a lot of my issues with this one comes down to that it tried to be too psychological without putting up some mind-bending roadblocks (although there was a good mystery front that needed to be bolstered) and sometimes it was just too wordy with descriptions/explanations.
* I’ve probably used the word “psychological” in this review when what I should really be saying is “mental health” or “mental health issues” or something along those lines. However, in this case I see these as being interchangeable when speaking in context of this book. *
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *