We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Forgive me for starting this way but honestly, if you are going to name an MC Jack, why would you name the other one Zachariah? Of course, even though he doesn’t like it, his nickname is Zach! Add to that the fact that the book is now on audio and the resulting confusion as the mind switches back and forth in dialogue between the two men is pretty evident.
Jack Flemming was severely injured when a high school prank went wrong and it also left him without his best friend Zachariah Durban, now a famous author living in Europe. Zach was one of the gang of boys who had the bright idea to tie him to a flag pole naked and then walk away. When Jack was discovered the next morning, he was suffering from severe hypothermia and his skin was stuck to the pole. Severely scarred from where the paramedics had to cut his skin to detach him from the pole, needless to say, Jack has not forgotten the incident, nor forgiven any of the boys, even though fifteen years have passed.
Jack is now co-owner of the Mechanic Shop in his hometown. He does volunteer work at a local center for foster children who don’t have positive male role models. When he gets a call from Zachariah Durban, Jack at first refuses to answer, but eventually when Zach keeps calling and pestering him, he takes the call only to find out that Zach wants to fly him to St. Tropez to meet and discuss something very important. Zach actually wants to apologize to the man he has loved since they were teens. When Jack told him that he was gay, Zach didn’t reciprocate so he’s unaware of Zach’s feelings. Zach is suffering from writer’s block and can’t get Jack off his mind so he figures now is the time to act.
Jack goes, and within a week decides to forgive Zach. They also start a relationship which quickly turns to love. While in Europe, Jack also decides to adopt one of the boys at the center. Jordan is sixteen and just lost his best friend when he was adopted by a couple from another state. After thinking it over while he’s on vacation, Jack makes a few calls and begins the adoption process. Zachariah is onboard with the idea and the two make plans to live together and buy a home close to Jack’s job and Jordan’s school. This all takes place over the course of a month or so.
Ideally, all of these events would be amazing if stretched out over the course of a year or so, or if there had been some contact between the men at some point within the fifteen years. However, pushing two guys together, one of whom hurt the other long ago, having no contact over that time, with the victim hating the people who harmed him, and not only finding forgiveness but everlasting love, then sharing parenthood, and the purchase of a new home together is far beyond the stretch of my imagination. It didn’t click for me and, in fact, I found the writing too simplistic, and most of the scenarios, including a later high school reunion incident, unrealistic.
The only redemption to this story is the narration by Paul Morey who did a good job with the voices. I assume that if I had read the book, rather than listening to it, I may have put it on my DNF shelf. I definitely would have marked it lower – probably 1.5 hearts.