Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
One night of drunken horsing around in their hotel room leads to the most intensely personal violation Derek has ever endured. As if the humiliation of working under his attacker every day isn’t enough, Victor reports Derek for sexual harassment. Now he’s without a job, without a boyfriend, and the mortgage on the cabin is due.
Officer Russ Thomas has worked with rape victims before, and it doesn’t take him long to sort out the truth in Derek’s tale. With his support, Derek finally reports the crime, months after it happened. But restraining orders and lawyers further Victor’s anger toward him, and even though a relationship develops between Derek and the policeman, Russ can’t be there to protect him all the time
This is going to be hard for me to rate, not because of the content of the story but solely based on the execution. I felt this was very much a one-note novel. I didn’t get a rise out of myself reading this, not one time. Certain parts of the story should demand a certain reaction out of it’s audience, but this did not get one. Reading this story, I feel like the way it was written left it emotionally unavailable. It did not feel authentic at all. I just felt like I was reading this, and felt completely detached from the story. I reached the end and felt absolutely nothing. I want to thank the author for being bold enough to write about this type of incident. I don’t think people talk about it enough. Going into this I expected turmoil, tears, and just an emotional read and I didn’t get it. I don’t want to say everyone is going to have the same reaction, because they aren’t but it was a straight read through.
The story itself was good. While I liked certain areas of it, I disliked more than a few of the characters, and the situations that the MC’s found themselves in. The author did a good job on the subject. Its not something we read a lot about in m/m fiction, it had a realistic feeling to it. Derek reacted like an individual would in this situation to me. A couple of times, I felt myself wanting to throttle him for not speaking up for himself afterwards, but nothing can be done on my time. I applaud Derek for going to work with his attacker everyday and living, surviving, and fighting to get back to himself. This incident brought up Derek’s dislike with himself. I think all the personal issues surrounding his sexuality might have impeded his recovery, but this is only my speculation reading it. Russ was a good guy, and character. I liked Russ with his sister, and I liked Russ with Derek. I did not like Russ on his own. It felt very filler-ish type. Like the author needed some space plugged up so we are just going to put Russ with these random people. I’m saying that not because he needed someone else, I’m saying it like it did not feel real. Where was the connection between Russ and the other two guys? None, I felt zero hints of magic with them. I just think it added n0thing really except me feeling like it was open space.
Cover Art by L.C. Chase: I liked this cover, very serene feeling. I think Derek had to come to terms with himself before he could love someone else.
Amazon links coming Aug. 7th.
ebook, 256 pages, also in paperback
Expected publication: August 7th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press