An Ali Release Day Review: Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
block-strike-by-kelly-jensenJacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.
This was a really well done, slow burn love story.  I enjoy slow burn stories but I feel like we rarely see them. As a result I was really excited when I started reading this and realized that’s where the story was going.  These two meet under very bad circumstances and the author takes the time for them to build a believable friendship and then a believable love story.  Both of these men have some issues that they need to work through and it’s something that they do together.  I loved that there was no magic solution……no them falling in love and then all their problems are solved.
I liked Jake’s character a lot.  He was imperfect and he made some mistakes but they were realistic ones and I sympathized with him.  Max was a little harder for me to connect with but he grew on me and I enjoyed the two of them together.  There are a host of side characters and I liked most of them and thought they added to the story.  A bonus is that the ex girlfriend and mothers were not painted as horrible shrews as so often is done in this genre.
My only complaint was that some of the plot twists felt pretty unrealistic to me.  I had to do some suspending of reality in a few places.
Overall though, I really enjoyed this.  I felt it was unique and well done and is a book that I would definitely recommend.
Cover art by Garrett Leigh:  I love the cover.  I think it’s striking and it fits the story perfectly.

Sales Links



Book Details:

ebook, 266 pages
Expected publication: January 6th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163533229X (ISBN13: 9781635332292)
Edition LanguageEnglish

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