Connor is working double shifts as a bartender to earn enough money to buy his own bar. Every night, at the same time, the same guy comes in and orders one drink with no conversation. The mysterious guy intrigues Connor and Connor can see the guy looks sad and wants to know the man and his story. The pattern changes one night when the man orders a second drink and Connor tries for some conversation and Connor still wants to know more.
It’s been two years since the fire changed Lucas’ life forever. Scarred both inside and out, some days it takes everything to make it through. His treatment is ongoing, his partner couldn’t deal with his injuries and left him, and Lucas deals with pain and nightmares every day. During a stop to pick up a pizza, a mishap has Lucas connecting with the bartender that serves him drinks. Lucas has a difficult time opening up to Connor and accepting that Connor could really be interested, but Connor is determined to show him what the future could look like together.
Recovery tells the story of Lucas, who was severely burned in a fire. He is back at work, but he has horrible scarring, nightmares, and depression and doesn’t feel like he has that much to look forward to. His boyfriend left him and his mother is overbearing and manipulative. Lucas is attracted to Connor, but doesn’t feel that he has much to offer, especially due to the scars and his ongoing medical treatment. Connor sees past the scars to the man and the two of them quickly fall for each other.
This book was originally published as three short stories titled Phoenix, Dove, and Eagles and the author states this version has been expanded. Still, I felt there was a lot of relationship development missing and what may have worked in separate installments, suffered in a novel. Lucas has been going into the bar for a year and barely acknowledging Connor. Once the two have one conversation, it all then moves fast to them becoming intimate, falling in love, and moving in together, and there was little relationship development.
The rest of the book focuses on how Lucas now has to navigate the world and the treatment that is available to him to recover. There is also the issue of Lucas’ emotional trauma from the fire, dealing with his partner leaving, and then his mother, as this is yet another story with an overbearing mother who doesn’t listen to what her grown son needs.
This book falls into the “fine” category for me—as in, it was fine. The main characters are fine and the story is fine, making it fine overall. Lucas’ parents were underdeveloped and one dimensional for how involved they were in his life and there wasn’t much depth for the dramatic story this book was trying to tell.
There are many hurt/comfort books out there and I didn’t feel this one stood out above the rest when these stories were put together in a novel. If you have read the stories on their own and want some expanded material, that would be a good reason to pick this one up.