A BJ Review: Nelson and Caleb (Storming Love: Hurricane:One Storm, Twelve Men #5) by Kaje Harper

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Rating:   4.5 stars out of 5

Nelson and Caleb Storming Love coverNelson’s a retired a cop who now works evenings as security-guard job, while also helping out his community on his days off with his therapy dogs. He’s at the hospital with one of his dogs when Hurricane Lauris comes barreling down on his community. Caleb, an attractive man who works at the building Nelson guards, is at the hospital to get a cast taken off his broken foot. After taking Nelson up on the offer of a lift home, Caleb finds himself stranded in Nelson’s home with three dogs when the storm worsens.

This novella had me from the first scene where Bonnie, the handicapped therapy dog in a wheeled cart, is entertaining kids at the hospital with her big, sweet bear of an ex-cop owner. I adored Nelson from the get-go.

I’m a huge animal lover, so throw together two unique, highly relatable main characters, three dogs, a pregnant cat, a couple adorable kittens and a hurricane and that equals out to one thoroughly enjoyable read for me.

There’s heat and attraction from the start, but the guys run into a few stumbling blocks. For one thing, Nelson’s a dog guy while Caleb’s a cat lover. Then there’s the little fact that both men prefer to bottom. And just for good measure, the author throws in a little twist that sets it quite apart from most books I’ve read in this genre.

A well-written, short but sweetly enjoyable read with some heat.

Cover Artist: Kris Jacen.  While the cover is nice enough, the identical photo is used for all the books in the series. A tiny bit of individualization, maybe even just different silhouettes, would have spiced it up.

Sales Links:   MLR Press LLC         All Romance (ARe)        Amazon         Buy It Here
Book Details:

ebook, 87 pages
Published October 3rd 2014 by MLR Press
ISBN13MLR1020140301
edition languageEnglish
url http://kajeharper.wordpress.com/books/
Series Storming Love: Hurricane, One Storm, Twelve Men:

  • Gage and Collin (Storming Love: One Storm, Twelve Men #1) by S.J. Frost
  • Bradley & Mike (Storming Love: One Storm, Twelve Men #2) by Stephani Hecht
  • Bear & Travis (Storming Love: One Storm, Twelve Men #3) by Parker Williams
  • Austin & Troy (Storming Love: One Storm, Twelve Men #4) by Kendall McKenna
  • Nelson & Caleb (Storming Love: One Storm, Twelve Men #5) by Kaje Harper
  • Doug & Neal (Storming Love: One Storm, Twelve Men #6) by Diana DeRicci

 

Review of The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper

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Rating 4.5 stars

Ryan Ward was a firefighter for years before a steel beam pinned him in a burning building, ending his career and nearly his life.  Now Ryan is starting over as a med student in a new town and state.  His new life brings new adjustments, from being an older student on campus to learning to walk again.  A fall on the steps brings him literally into contact with  John Barrett, the head groundskeeper, a man undergoing his own life changes.

John Barrett once had a life as a successful landscape architect, a wife he loved, and two kids he adored.  He was happy, she was not.  A divorced father, he has followed his ex-wife and her new husband to this town hoping to stay in his children’s lives only to watch them move to California.  Now he finds himself starting over and all alone in a big house he bought for himself and his kids.

A few meetings turn into friendship and John offers to rent Ryan a room in his house.  Initially this looks like a great solution to both their problems.  John needs the extra income for child support and Ryan needs an escape from the hard partying roommate in his current apartment.  But then the friendship turns into attraction, something neither of them saw coming.  Like fuel added to fire, a student is murdered and John becomes a suspect.  Now they must solve a mystery while struggling with their new relationship.  Can they survive or will all go up in smoke?

At first, I thought this was another “Gay For You” story.  But that is far too restrictive a tag to hang on this wonderful book.  Here you have two men unwillingly shoved into making serious life changes.  When Ryan was forced to give up his life as a firefighter due to a career ending injury, he lost not only a job he loved, but friends, a lifestyle and even his family when they couldn’t deal with the accident.  A messy divorce and it’s repercussions (she remarried, moved away and started keeping his kids from visiting him) shattered John’s life.   His new job comes with a lower salary and job title,  the new house he purchased is too large for just one man and he’s lonely.  And starting to drink too much.

Kaje Harper captures, in every piece of dialog, in each character description, the trauma  of starting over at an older age. It’s all there from the obstacles, uncertainties, the anger and the fear.   I empathized greatly with each man as they struggled with the changes in their lives.   Each character is so beautifully developed that I really felt I knew them by the end of the book.  And when John’s teenage son returns home just as Ryan and John are coming to terms with their new relationship, a father’s responsibilities are made priority, just as it would in real life.  There is no aspect of Ryan and John’s relationship that seems forced or unreal.

In addition to accepting a new sexual awareness, a students suicide and murder complicate matters further.  At first, I thought the student Alice’s suicide might be a red herring but the author skillfully weaves the mystery into the plot to give the reader a extra layer to enjoy.  The mystery builds slowly as the relationship deepens between the men. To me this is similar to adding spices, dimension as it were, to a recipe. The  layering if done correctly, lets you savor the flavors long after you have finished the meal.  That is the excellent job Kaje Harper has done here.  I will savor the excellent flavor of this story for some time to come.  While this was my first book from Kaje Harper it definitely won’t be my last. My thanks for a wonderful story!

Cover: I liked this cover.  From the models to the graphics  of the woods below, it is perfect for the story inside. The fonts are large, simple and easy to read.  Great design, great job.

 

Available from Samhain Publishing, Amazon and ARE.