Inside every man was the boy he used to be. No matter how much bigger he’d grown or how many miles he’d traveled. No matter how high the bridge from which he’d leaped.
As a young boy who’d been bullied most of his formative years, Jeremy knew just one thing: that Kevin, the boy who was so often alone and just a bit scary, a bit strange, had a smile that made the world just a bit more tolerable every day. But that boy disappeared, leaped from a bridge and left Jeremy alone. Years later, after he has become the chief forest ranger in Portland, Oregon, Jeremy stumbles upon a stranger in a small coffee shop. There is something oh so familiar about this man, Qay, but Jeremy cannot seem to figure out exactly what it is. All Jeremy can understand is that he is drawn to this quiet, troubled man—this former addict who struggles each day to stay clean by never allowing himself to dream about loving or having anyone worthy in his life.
But the past has come back to haunt Jeremy in more ways than one and when his former lover turns up, wounded and in trouble, Jeremy gives him shelter for one night—a night that will forever change his life. Now the same men who were hunting his ex, Donnie, have turned their sights on him and his life is in danger. But that pales in comparison to the growing relationship he has with Qay and how skittish Qay is about commitment. Jeremy wants more—he wants that happy ever after with this tortured man.
Strong, compelling story. Interesting and intricately drawn characters. Exciting and action-filled plot. Tender and emotional love story. Every one of these sound bites could be said of Love Can’t Conquer by Kim Fielding and still fall short of how truly magnificent this story was to read. There have been other characters and several stories that have tugged at my heart strings—that made me cry and smile and seemed to bore into my very marrow, but Jeremy and Qay take those sentiments to a whole new level. Both these men are wounded and in need of saving and almost so set on their respective paths that they nearly lose each other and their chance at love. The murder mystery is a side element in this novel, but still well crafted and brought to a satisfying end. However, the real star here is the way in which Jeremy and Qay struggle to find the right balance. We have Qay who is in such need of love and a caring partner, yet unable to believe he could ever be worthy of either, and then we have Jeremy. He is a man so intent on righting the wrongs of the world that he fails to see that he doesn’t need to be a superhero to be loved, but rather he can simply be a flawed yet good man who doesn’t need to save someone in order to show them how much he can love them.
This is the heart of Love Can’t Conquer—the terribly real and often raw truth that love doesn’t conquer, but rather steps along side each of us to lend us a hand—to show us we are loveable—to declare that we are important enough just as we are. Author Kim Fielding once again gives us a gorgeous story of love and healing—of quiet determination and strength and does so with the greatest of skill. I highly recommend her novel, Love Can’t Conquer, to you.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.