Tag Archives: comfort

Point of Contact will leave you hurting but it’s worth the pain

37763495Point of Contact by Melanie Hansen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5*

So, so, so many times this book made me tear up but I never full on ugly cried like I have with previous Melanie Hansen books and I think, for me, the reason for that was Carl.

I felt for Carl. It felt like Carl was there only to be discarded so that the “real” romance between Trevor and Jesse could begin and I felt like Carl was really badly done to.

Irrational perhaps because, don’t get me wrong, the romance between Trevor and Jesse was absolutely perfect, but it felt like that should have been the only one and Carl could have just been a really good friend instead.

I know he needed to be there for plot reasons at the party so Jesse could behave as he did, but it just still took the edge of the rest of the romance for me personally.

But, as for the rest, this book will rip your heart out at the sorrow and pain the characters experience. War hurts, no matter whether the cause is “righteous” or not. People die, families are devastated, friends are left to deal with the survivor guilt.

This book, like all of Melanie’s I’ve read, has meticulously researched elements which make it feel absolutely real. But there was one hiccup in this which surprised me. At one point Riley is trying to persuade Jesse to join the Army’s Special Forces and – instead of using the Hooah battle cry, he yells Oorah instead.

It’s a small detail but that’s the cry of the Marines, an entirely separate branch of the Military and one usually affiliated with the Navy (while being independant), so it threw me out a bit. If they were going to join the Army’s Special Forces, it’d have been the Rangers, Delta Force or Special Forces Regiment (amongst others).
Now I’m not saying they couldn’t have switched branches to the Marines, but it just didn’t seem likely and I was surprised at the error.

That aside, the rest of this book is impeccable as it shows the impact of Private First Class Riley Estes’ death in combat on his friends and his father. There is lots of pain, but also lots of comfort in this book as Trevor comes to rely on Jesse firstly for the connection to his dead son, but then for Jesse himself.

There is a tender romance at the heart of this and the writing style – of using time jumps to highlight key areas of the narrative – worked really well for me. The Epilogue is wonderful, carries some real hope and is beautifully bookended with the Prologue which opens the book.

The cover is tasteful, as befits the subject matter, and works perfectly. A book I won’t forget for a while.

#ARC kindly provided by the publishers through NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Intelligent and emotional love story is out of the ordinary

A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White CoatA Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat by Roe Horvat

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Right at the laptop now so this book. I’m not sure really what I want to say about it because – on the face of it – there’s no one real single point of focus. It’s a story which needs to be read to be experienced.

Not everyone is going to like it. I suspect it may be a marmite book because I honestly don’t think you could be indifferent to it. It stirs passions. At times Simon infuriated me so much I could hardly think, at others I just wanted to pour all my love into his heart and stop him hurting.

This is also a very European book. It oozes out of every word. This is Prague in all her ancient and medieval glory, a city of contrasts, a city where a father could be a threatening violent alcoholic and it would pass under the water.

It’s also a book about words, about emotions, about how the mind works. It’s a book which touches on the life of one of my favourite poets Arthur Rimbaud and his crazy life with fellow poet Paul Verlaine and includes lines from one of my absolute favourite pieces of poetry A Season in Hell


Once, if I remember rightly, my life was a feast where all hearts opened, and all wines flowed.
One evening I sat Beauty on my knees – And I found her bitter – And I reviled her.

(Find out more about him here.)

Rimbaud’s relationship with Verlaine mirrors how Simon sees his with his young student Matej Chrs. He is left in limbo, all colour leached out of the world, relying only on his strength of will not to crumble.

Oh, I could go on about the symbolism, the beautiful use of words and imagery, I could tell you about how Simon slowly, oh so slowly, changed in my perception from a cold, locked off shell of a man into one who I just wanted to put in bubble wrap and protect from the ravages of his own staggering intellect.

And Matej. He’s almost an enigma. For much of the book we only have Simon’s remembrances and recollections. He seems flighty, willing to turn loose and perhaps unwittingly, inflict pain on those he professes to love the most.
But he’s so much more than that and when he returns to the narrative in his own right, all the colours come flooding back, including the angry ones.

Roe Horvat is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors. Their use of the English language to evoke emotions and inspire feelings really is genius.

#ARC received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Riley draws Jared and Keiran’s story to a beautiful “conclusion”

Jared's Fulfillment (Jared & Keiran, #2)Jared’s Fulfillment by Riley Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5*

There is some stellar writing in this book, there’s an in-depth examination into parts of the BDSM world, there’s some truly enlightened discussion about mental health and BDSM, and there’s a really wonderful mutually devoted couple at the heart of it.

So why not a higher score?

Because, ultimately, the whole Daddy kink just isn’t one that appeals to me as the basis for a relationship to the extent to which it takes place here, alongside the complete submission and the desire to subjugate your own needs and desires into pleasing someone else.

It’s utterly alien to me, even when it’s as well written and clearly mutually beneficial as it is here. I just can’t put myself into that head space.

The sex is kink-tastic and by turning off my brain’s awareness of the ‘Daddy-ness’ part, I could truly appreciate the connection between Jared and Keiran.

Bravo to Riley Hart for writing this series, in moving out of her more ‘traditional’ MM romance style, I think she’s crafted two really wonderful characters.

I just wish my brain would let me appreciate them to their full worth but sadly it won’t.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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