Bullied as a child in small-town Kansas, Jeremy Cox ultimately escaped to Portland, Oregon. Now in his forties, he’s an urban park ranger who does his best to rescue runaways and other street people. His ex-boyfriend, Donny—lost to drinking and drugs six years earlier—appears on his doorstep and inadvertently drags Jeremy into danger. As if dealing with Donny’s issues doesn’t cause enough turmoil, Jeremy meets a fascinating but enigmatic man who carries more than his fair share of problems.
Qayin Hill has almost nothing but skeletons in his closet and demons in his head. A former addict who struggles with anxiety and depression, Qay doesn’t know which of his secrets to reveal to Jeremy—or how to react when Jeremy wants to save him from himself.
Despite the pasts that continue to haunt them, Jeremy and Qay find passion, friendship, and a tentative hope for the future. Now they need to decide whether love is truly a powerful thing or if, despite the old adage, love can’t conquer all.
I wish love did conquer all.
I wish love was always enough.
I wish love could heal all wounds.
Unfortunately, Fielding is right and love doesn’t do all of these things. BUT…this story reminds us that love is precious and powerful and sometimes…wins.
I found this book a challenge. A challenge I enjoyed but it definitely wasn’t easy. Life hasn’t been easy for either of our MC’s. Jeremy is content with his life but not necessarily happy. Unlucky in love, he’s resigned himself a destined bachelor. His love for nature drew him from a blue uniform to a green one. He left his career in law enforcement to pursue his desire to become a park ranger. He loves what he does but is feeling the frustrations of climbing a never-ending slippery slope of helping the homeless, most of whom are teens. When his ex lands on his doorstep with a heap of trouble, his frustrations explode. He loved Donny and suffered greatly when their relationship ended. Despite the fact that he is no longer responsible for cleaning up after him doesn’t stop his chaos from taking over Jeremy’s life. When he runs into a stranger with a familiar face at his favorite coffee shop, life suddenly seems a little brighter. He can’t put his finger on what it is about this mystery man but he’s eager to discover more about the spark he feels.
Qay is battered from the battles he’s survived. He is an open book written in secret ink. He has a trail of mistakes but he is proud of what he has overcome and what little he has. Every day sober and free is a victory. It was harder for me to connect with Qay. I struggled to figure out why. I think I finally figured out my problem. I needed to be INside his head. I would have benefited greatly with direct access to his thoughts. I think alternating first person would have filled in the gap I felt. It was tough to watch him fight..so hard…and so alone…from a distance.
Regardless of my difficulty connecting with Qay, their story was tragically beautiful.
A murder mystery adds a thrilling edge to their story. I always enjoy a well-played mystery incorporated into a great romance. Jeremy and Qay have history but the focus in on their future. Hope, determination and patience are key features. Our past plays a critical role in shaping our future but it doesn’t have to define us, Qay is a perfect example of this. I’m looking forward to following along with this series, I hope I know who is going to star in book two.
Gorgeous writing. Like a great waterfall, words flowed with such power even when they were crashing they were beautiful. It was refreshing to read about two imperfect men, real men, falling in love. Love that offered them amazing, terrifying things. Sometimes the greatest things we are gifted with are also the scariest. Secondary characters held the main characters together. I adored nearly all of their chosen family.
Heavy topics drag the story down. From addictions to child abuse, murder to mental illness and much more…the angst is overwhelming. If you are looking for an off the beaten path love story, this fits the bill.
Readers prepared for a torturous road to the summit…but with a promise of an impressive finale. And of course any Fielding fans will want to check this one out.