When Jack’s son relapses and ends up in rehab… again, Jack blames himself. None of Rick’s problems happened until Jack came out, effectively ending his marriage and splitting their family up. After years of the guilt and shame, when Rick calls and asks Jack to show up at rehab for a family session, Jack reluctantly agrees. There he meets Seth. Seth is a good counsellor and mentor for Rick and becomes a great friend for Jack as he works through his own issues of self-loathing. As Rick finds his reason for staying on the straight and narrow, Jack finds a way to love himself and, with the support from Seth, he eventually finds more.
I’m not going to lie to you. This story was not at all what I expected. To categorize it as a romance is pushing it as there is virtually no relationship building and very little on the sexy side. Here’s the thing, as a story about recovery and growth or healing and finding one’s self, it’s a decent story. But still nothing about it blew me away or made me feel much of anything.
Jack is okay, but for the most part I was highly irritated by his self-deprecation. I’m of the mind that if you’re going to come out of the closet late in life, own it. I get that his kid had issues that Jack thought were his fault, but I also felt like he was unintentionally trying to overshadow his child’s addiction with his own self-importance. Let me be frank in saying that addiction is a heavy issue and it affects an entire family, but I feel like this character went about his own issues the wrong way. And again, this probably has more to do with my own type A personality, but Jack just didn’t work very well for me.
I’ve mentioned the lack of relationship building, and that is a stickler in the romance department for me. I feel like there could have been so much more to Jack and Seth that would have made me believe in their (someday) love. Instead, I’m left with emails and texts and maybe a phone call. By the end, I hardly cared if they were together or not.
The brightest points in this story are the secondary characters. Jack’s ex-wife and her husband had me aw-ing and wishing I knew their story. Jack’s BFF cracked me up. Those three characters were the light of this story, but not much else wowed me.
While the author hits some key issues related to addiction and heavy topics that I appreciate, this story just wasn’t meant for me.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.