Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Old wounds, new directions, and a forever worth chasing.
Malcolm Montgomery was a history teacher and track coach until an accident left him with two broken legs. He’ll recover, but life has knocked his feet out twice now. He’s not sure if he’s ready to try again, especially when it comes to love—and slick guys like Brian Kenway. Still, he needs help mentoring the school’s LGBTQ society, so he asks Brian to take some responsibility.
Brian has been hiding behind his reputation as a liar and a cheat for so long that he actually believes he’s that guy—until his nephew, Josh, turns up on his couch, tossed out for being gay. Brian has never considered being a father, but he knows all about being rejected by loved ones. Now Brian wants to be more: a partner for Mal and a role model for Josh.
But when Mal’s recovery is set back and the sad truth of Brian’s past is revealed, the forever they’ve been chasing seems even further from their grasps. It’ll take a rescue effort to revive their sense of worth and make Brian, Mal, and Josh into a family of their own.
If you haven’t found Kelly Jensen’s This Time Forever series, you seriously need to. While each story uses a structure like a legacy home or lodge at its heart, it’s the author’s ability to create and bring to life a group of interlocked men of varying ages, often older than your usual contemporary romance, intelligent, each carrying more than their share of life’s baggage. Some are easily more damaged than others, some emotionally, others physically, some both. Through the stories we’ve met several of the characters over and over through their complicated relationship dynamics with each other, as couples form and ex’s watch from the sidelines.
In Chasing Forever, one of those ex’s, Brian is someone we’ve “seen” through other characters perspectives and the view hasn’t been a pretty one. Here Brian’s past is revealed, the truth of the man peeled back, and he’s set on the path to redemption. One reason? Mal “Malcolm” Montgomery, history teacher and track coach who is trying to recover from a devastating hit and run accident. Prior to the accident he was someone who defined himself by his physical ability…to run, to coach…to just do and now it’s a struggle to just walk. In these two amazingly complicated and damaged men, Jensen brings about both redemption, recovery, hope, love, and, finally an emotionally triumphant future. All done within a realistic, adult plot with the expectant struggles, arguments, and hurdles to overcome. What a joy to read!
Threaded through this romance is the series foundation that features, in this case, not a family house or lodge but a bar that needs saving because the historic structure is slated to be sold to a developer in town. This is an ongoing battle in this series, as the developer has made an appearance in a previous story and I expect to see them again in future novels. How it all plays out I will leave out to each reader to discover for themselves. It too is a rich, multidimensional element of this story, just as I would have expected from someone who clearly loves her old structures as much as this author does.
In fact, there are several other floating storylines here that will capture your heart, along with the characters that go along with them. There are no people here that I could honestly consider “supporting” cast because each feels so meaningful to the town and each other.
It’s like that with each and every story here. For me they build on each other with their relationships, their place in the town, and in each other’s lives. This is one series I would go around waving at people, recommending the hell out of it because it’s just that great. Start with the first one and work your way here. Get to know the town and its people. Love them as I do. Then you will know why I highly recommend this story, this series, and it’s author. And do the same.
Cover Art: Natasha Snow. It matches the other novels in the series in style and element perfectly.
ebook, 333 pages
Published December 10th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Edition Language English
Series This Time Forever