We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Military
Jed Cooper arrives home in Oregon after a career as a Sergeant in the Army which took him all over the globe. An Army Ranger, Jed was forced into a decision to opt out of the service when he developed gastroparesis, a chronic and painful stomach condition. Unfortunately, a few weeks before he was due to get out, an ambush in Iraq severely injured him and killed his best friend, a man for whom he harbored a secret love.
Finding it hard to recover emotionally and physically, severely burned, and with a shattered leg, he heads to Oregon where the last of his family resides. Once there, though, he finds it hard to adjust to civilian life, and even harder to adjust to being in his brother’s home. Nick has become an alcoholic, and between that and his ADHD child, Jed finds it difficult to find any peace so that he can get centered. His sister-in-law offers him a chance to live with her brother at his secluded cabin, and though he’s reluctant to do it, he finally decides he needs it to survive.
Max O’Dair enjoys the seclusion of his life with his dog, Flo, and his ability to work at his own pace in his woodworking business. An epileptic, Max is never seizure-free, and Jed learns first-hand how well Flo works to get help for Max when he needs it. The two men are compatible and make good roommates since neither is interested in revealing anything about themselves, and both are quiet loners. However, over time, they do start to learn what makes each other tick, and when an incident occurs to make Jed realize that he does indeed care about Max, they both realize that a life of seclusion may not be the answer.
Family issues, past secrets, and medical problems all conspire to keep them apart, however. And when Jed’s medical issues result in a life-threatening illness, their fledgling relationship will be tested beyond what either could have imagined.
I enjoyed this story for both the content and the narration. Michael Stellman is a talented narrator, offering variety in his vocalizations of the characters, and I was particularly charmed by the British-accented voice he gave to Max. The story itself held an interesting assortment of plot twists and turns, medical and emotional issues and crises, and of course, the development of a deep and abiding love between two men. This would be of interest to all lovers of M/M but especially to those who like to read stories with tags of hurt/comfort, men with pets and/or children, retired military, or serious medical issues. I definitely recommend this story in audiobook format.