Rating: 4.5 stars
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It’s been three months since Detective Jared “Mac” Maclean was shot in the head. Three long, frustrating months of physical therapy, speech therapy, depression, shrink visits, and recuperating in a new home, with his new husband and their two kids. Mac is ready to get back to work, but there are still issues. He has trouble finding the correct words to use when he’s in a stressful situation and the thought of someone coming up behind him with a gun terrifies him to no end. Because of that he is unable to re-qualify to return to the force, but will have another chance in three more months. At least he has Tony for support.
Tony Hart loves his husband, supports him unconditionally, even when he’s scared out of his mind. He’s relieved that he has Mac to himself at least for three more months so he tries to get mentally prepared for the reality that Mac will most likely be joining the force again. And when one of Tony’s students finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation involving his father and his pseudo-step-father, Tony is conflicted when Oliver asks for Mac’s help. On one hand, Mac could be put in danger again, but on the other hand, there is no one that Tony trusts more to help the young man and his family. And Mac’s role as consultant on the case is minor compared to what it would be if he were on active duty. Still, working on his weaknesses that kept him from re-qualifying, attempting to protect Tony when he has troubles at work, dealing with a death in the family that brings his own haunted past into his present, and anticipating Tony’s adoption of Ben keep Mac pretty busy as he continues to help search for a missing father and a murderer.
Have you met Mac and Tony yet? If not, you definitely should. If so, you are going to love this book. Kaje Harper has taken me on a journey from closeted cop meets out and proud teacher through their fears, heartbreak, and healing to their marriage and growth of their small family, to a debilitating injury and the subsequent healing. This series as a whole is wonderful and not to be missed.
What I love so much about this book and this series is that it doesn’t focus solely on the investigation, but the romance and the family aspect takes an active role in this book. It’s the beauty of real life – fears, insecurities, vulnerabilities, happiness, growth, joys. The addition of Mac’s family and the ghosts of his past are a huge part of this story, but again, bring a great amount of healing. It is a beautiful story of life, fears, and healing.
And if you haven’t realized yet, I absolutely adore Mac and Tony. The further we delve into the series, the stronger Mac and Tony grow. After all they’ve been through, Mac and Tony are a force to be reckoned with. And they are one of my favorite couples ever. I love the strength they show together, but the vulnerabilities and insecurities they emanate individually. It makes them real, human, believable. Like I said, I love them so much.
As always, Harper has a way with words. I was engrossed immediately. The story is very involved and paced perfectly. The book itself is lengthy, but by no means boring. I enjoyed this story from beginning to end. I also love the incorporation of family life into the mystery. This mystery is heartbreaking and hits close to home for both Tony and Mac. It’s intense in places, and very well planned. It’s very good.
Obviously, I adore this book and this series. It’s a series that caught me by surprise and held onto me until the very end. Now, I have heard rumors that this is the last book in the Life Lessons series. Not sure. I do know that if it is, it’s a great ending to a wonderful series. If it’s not, I look forward to what comes next for the Hart-Maclean household. I adore these characters and the mysteries in each of the books. But most of all, I love the growth and strength shown in Mac and Tony’s family and lives. I highly recommend Learning Curve by Kaje Harper. The entire series is a definite must read.