Jackie Blue Kalinski has been a strong favorite character of mine in this series and the Cayuga Cougars series since I met him.
Uniquely awesome, endearing, funny, and able to be the focal point of every scene, regardless of the nature, Jackie Blue grew up through these books and is now a 19 year old ready for his future.
In other stories a 19 year old seems young, but Jackie is in college, is sure of what he wants out of life and who he is personally. He’s a centered being with the full support of his family.
Then he meets Martin McKittrick, Marine fire chief , 45, divorced father of two adults,soon to be grandfather. Martin is also a player on the gay hockey team that Vic, Jackie’s dad, coaches.
It’s a moment of intense instantaneous connection between them, making any differences in age vanish. At least for them.
The main thread is the intense romance and immediate bond between Jackie Blue and Martin. It’s also how their families and friends respond to them as a couple, see that 25 age gap as a factor as a part of a realistic relationship, and if it’s possible to have real acceptance for such a May/December couple.
Having a 19 year old and a 45 year old as a couple and the heart of your story is a risk. Having it be successful really hinges on the writer being able to make each of those characters a completely fleshed out person who’s personality is set out in depth for the readers across the story’s pages so we believe each man’s passion for the other. Including the fact that age has both been factored in, discussed, and then discarded, because it’s about the inner connection here.
Locey also is aware that there are readers that are looking at this couple and that age gap with real misgivings. It’s a honest reaction and one of many that finds it’s way into the mouths and dialogue of Jackie Blue’s dads (yep, Vic went off the rails) or one of Martin’s adult children. The characters for whom acceptance was not an easy road stood in as a family Greek Chorus of questions and honest disapproval, voicing thoughts that I’m sure there were readers out there thinking.
And as both the couple weathers obstacles, Jackie and Martin continue to communicate with each other’s families and inner circles. The couple talks to them about their relationship, allowing those close to see into their dynamics, and slowly the disapproval and misunderstandings dissipate. Each point that had been a major misgiving had been dissected through honesty and open communication in scene after scene. Great job by the author.
There are other elements to this story as well. Jackie adjusting to life as a partner of a firefighter and the stress that comes with that. That felt very well done.
Also the joyous aspect of Jackie Blue pursuing his career as a clothier and designer. This section I could see so clearly. His drive , the love of the clothes as well as fashion. It was perfect.
Draw turned out to be just like Jackie Blue. Unusual, unanticipated, unconventional, wildly moving, as well as satisfying. Turns out just what Jackie Blue hoped for and what he got. In every way.
V.L.Locey wrote an intelligent, beautifully crafted book. It had a risky premise but in her hands it turned into a gorgeous love story.
One I’m recommending.
There’s one last novella in this series. That’s Jackie Blue and Martin’s wedding. How could you miss that?
Now on to Black Tie (Overtime #3.5)
Overtime Series complete:
Rebound #1-Vic’s story
Final Shot #2 -Dan’s story
Draw #3 – Jackie Blue’s story
Black Tie #3.5 – a Overtime novella
They say first loves never last. Jackie Blue Kalinski was about to show them—whoever they are—that the word never is not in his vocabulary.
From the time Jack Kalinski was a preschooler he had a good sense of who he was and where he wanted to go in life. His childhood was spent drawing beautiful dresses for pretty people, male and female alike. Growing up with two dads who played hockey wasn’t exactly conducive to late night talks about tulle or tailor’s chalk, but he never let that stop his dreams of becoming a fashion designer or expressing the genderqueer heart that beat in his chest. His family’s love and support helped him through some painful losses that shaped him into the strong, vivacious, and charismatic college student he is today. Life hasn’t been a smooth ride, but Jack has persevered and is about to take the fashion world by storm.
Little does he suspect that his tidy life is about to be scorched by a chance meeting with one of the men playing hockey on the gay team his father coaches. Martin McKittrick not only catches Jack’s eye, but the much older man wins his heart. The passionate affair with the captain of the Marine Unit of the BFD burns red hot until the new couple run into a few snags that might dampen the inferno: Jack’s ascent into the fashion world, Martin’s job and the inherent dangers that come with it, and the fact that the well-kept secret romance has just been exposed to the world in a rather big way.
25 year age gap, genderqueer, 19 yrs,
by V.L. Locey
Nmby-genderqueer-femme, extreme age gap,