Jeremy is content with his life, his job as a lawyer, and his husband. While life isn’t perfect, Jeremy faces life’s struggles head on and the men are looking forward to the birth of their baby in a couple of months. When Jeremy’s entire world is shattered, he checks out of life for a while and when he hits rock bottom, he slowly starts existing again. Two years later and that’s his life now, he exists, he runs, and he keeps himself isolated in his cabin.
When Jeremy finally decides to go out for just one night, he meets Kai and the attraction is intense. A lust fueled encounter has guilt consuming Jeremy and he leaves Kai without a word. Kai had a rough childhood, got involved with a gang, and spent some time in juvenile detention. While he is used to disappointment, he felt a real connection with Jeremy. Kai is now a teacher and has dedicated his life to helping kids who may be out of chances. When a crime brings the men together again, a chance at life and a chance at love may be within reach for both of them.
Signs of Life is set within the world of the author’s previous book, Everything Changes. While the MCs from that book, primarily Jase, show up here, this book can be read as a standalone.
The first chapter sets the mood and the hand that Jeremy has been dealt. When two tragedies come for him one after the other, it’s more than he can take. We see the breakdown and then flash forward two years. Jase, from the first book, is Jeremy’s closest friend and one of his only links to the outside world.
Where Jeremy is a structured lawyer, Kai with his eyeliner and lip piercing is somewhat the opposite. With glimpses of Kai’s story from a stay in a juvenile detention filled with violence, to becoming a teacher at a second chance school, Kai now also teaches self defense classes and is secure in his life. Love is the one thing that has been missing and while on paper he should be in love with his best friend, Loren, Kai is going to go for intense and complicated with Jeremy. Because, “…sometimes…with someone, they just…they just fit you. They fill those empty spaces inside of you with stuff you didn’t even know you wanted or needed.”
The book deals with themes of loss, pain, hurt, and ultimately comfort. Jeremy at first pushes Kai away and when the attraction is too great, tells Kai a physical relationship is all he has to give. And these guys act upon their attraction all of the time and it’s hot and dirty, but there is real emotion behind it as well. For as much as Jeremy wants to push Kai away, he begins to realize he wants all of Kai just as much both in and out of bed.
The secondary story of Kai’s students is the catalyst that brings the guys together a second time and while there is no shortage of tragedy all around, Kai is dedicated to making a difference where he can. These guys also talk to each other and while the shift from Jeremy not wanting a relationship to wanting everything with Kai is fairly quick, these guys just fit together. The style and the writing of this story worked better for me than the first one, but it was still great to see a glimpse of how Jase and Carey were doing. This series will continue on and it’s definitely one worth checking out.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.