Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Reviewing Life - Reviewed by Trix

By: Lara Brukz
A Review Story #2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

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?

Trix’s Review:
4 stars

I had no idea that this book was the sequel to an earlier story when I read it; it works very well as a standalone. Judging from the predecessor's blurb and reviews, I may have felt very differently about Marshall's character if I had read FIVE STAR REVIEW first. However unsympathetic he may have been in the first book, the Marshall presented here is a careworn and touching character who genuinely wants to make amends. Kyle has his fair share of emotional baggage as well, and I rooted for the two of them separately and together. (Both have dealt with so much tragedy that I spent much of the book fretting about what would happen to them next, a testament to Brukz' ability to make the guys seem real.) In spite of the intense themes of loss and redemption, this is a surprisingly sweet and uplifting romance. I did sometimes find the guys'tendency to explain their feelings at length during any tender moment a bit much (especially in the earlier stages of their relationship). Of course, considering that both men work in counseling (with one having regular confessional moments at AA meetings), this isn't totally beyond the scope of belief. The story is refreshingly unpredictable right up to the very end, thanks to a few side characters. Without giving too much away, I will say that I fell hard for the adorable paramedic Dane, and I demand to read his story next!

No comments:

Post a Comment