Brilliant disability rep from Annabeth in her second Hotshots novel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book beautifully examines the reality of life with a disability. Annabeth gives the reader a flawed but still deserving of love injured smokejumper Garrick, and River, a free-spirited man who finds that his adventures might just end up rooting him in one place.
I will add the disclaimer that I beta read this book for the author for disability rep, as I am severely disabled with physical mobility issues and swap between crutches, wheeled walker and wheelchair, although mine were not caused by a spinal accident like Garrick.
I will also say that I made miniscule changes to the narrative as Annabeth had already got the disability issues and the frustrations which go with living with a chronic and permanent physical mobility problem almost perfect.
The vast majority of comments were along the lines of oh God, yes, this is just how I feel, are you inside my head, or yep, been there, felt that too so I would congratulate and thank Annabeth for putting in the effort (as she always does with her research) to get it right.
As for the book itself. I loved both men so much. Garrick wants to get back to smoke jumping even though he really knows, deep down, that his chances are almost nil, and all River really wants, free-spirited though he is, is somewhere he can feel wanted and loved with all the complications that go with a relationship.
Their instant attraction to each other is complicated by Garrick’s disabilities and there’s no glossing over it, which I very much appreciated. I also loved River’s wee bit of exhibitionist kink and his love of pretty underwear.
The family and friends who surround the two men are also lovingly crafted, Garrick’s dad in particular was someone I absolutely adored because of his unwavering support, and River’s gran and her mile wide streak of independence.
As for Cookie, the beautiful dog who starts the whole thing off, she’s a total sweetheart and I always love books which include the importance of animals for companionship and affection.
#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review