LITTLE DOES Derek Sawyer know all of his relationships are about to crumble, leaving him alone and broken. His best friend since they were boys (and his boss) breaks his trust in one careless and cruel night, Derek’s co-workers turn on him, and even his fiancé leaves him. He’s jobless and alone in their New Hampshire cabin, and the only person who can help is his next door neighbor, Officer Russ Thomas. Being a cop, Russ has helped many trauma victims before, but as they become friends, he realizes he may be too close to Derek. Can he fight off both their demons?
This was a fantastic read, dark and thrilling, but also sweet and hopeful. My heart clenched for Derek. It was agonizing to watch his entire world fall apart, but also inspiring to watch him build it back up again. There was just enough inner dialog and detail to follow what he was going through, and enough room for me to use my imagination to sink deeper into the characters.
I’m not going to lie. This book was heavy. Bad shit happens to Derek, horrible and out of his control. He swallows up his emotions, hides, turns on the people who are trying to help, and he even turns on himself—violated in every manner of the word. And the agony of Russ watching Derek go through this, of not being able to reach out and make it all better… nearly brought me to my knees. Their powerlessness was devastating.
By the same horrible circumstances of fate that bring about Derek’s downfall, they also bring an inspiring story of human strength and character; of a man, beaten and broken, picking himself up from the wreck and starting life again. And this is a story of courage, of two people who find each other in the darkest of times.
I recognize the darkness in this novel. Many only read to feel good, and can I understand that. But I want to experience everything when I read: joy, heartache, laughter, arousal, fear, thrills—I want to live as someone else, escape myself for a time. Fessenden’s novel will take you into the depths of yourself, but you’ll be okay, because ultimately this is a story of hope, and there can be no light without the dark.
Fessenden is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve reviewed his work before. Check out his website: http://jamiefessenden.com, where you can see his complete list of works, updates on what he’s working on, and his blog.
Dreamspinner Press–Where Dreams Come True… International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
DSP Publications–Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey. http://www.dsppublications.com
Harmony Ink Press–LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction. http://www.harmonyinkpress.com