Jimmy and Mark make an adorable couple. Jimmy’s kindness and clean-cut cuteness radiate out of him like light. Mark, although a bit older, complements Jimmy with his humor and his openness to love.
But between them, a dark secret lurks, one with the power to destroy.
See, when Mark believes he’s meeting Jimmy for the first time in the diner where he works, he’s wrong.
Mark has no recollection of their original encounter because the wholesome Jimmy of today couldn’t be more different than he was two years ago. Back then, Jimmy sported multiple piercings, long bleached dreadlocks, and facial hair. He was painfully skinny—and a meth addict. The drug transformed him into a different person—a lying, conniving thief who robbed Mark blind during their one-night stand.
Mark doesn’t associate the memory of a hookup gone horribly wrong with this fresh-faced, smiling twentysomething… but Jimmy knows. As they begin a dance of love and attraction, will Jimmy be brave enough to reveal the truth? And if he does, will Mark be able to forgive him? Can he see Jimmy for the man he is now and not the addict he was? The answers will depend on whether true love holds enough light to shine through the darkness of past mistakes
This is rather difficult for me to review. I enjoyed many things but on the other hand, I also struggled with some aspects. I loved the writing because…this is Reed and I adore slipping into his angsty love-filled playland. I enjoyed the second chance romance because I believe in forgiveness and moving forward. The recovering addict thread was…critical and painful. This feature holds great significance in Jimmy’s story and by default, Mark’s story. And that was hard for me. It’s personal but as much as I try, I can’t stop personal influences from affecting my reading enjoyment.
Meth is…a debilitating drug. The poisonous venom burns from the user to every connection they have. It not only destroys the life of the addict but invades the lives of everyone they know. Which in this case, is when Mark and Jimmy first meet. Jimmy is hanging by a thread. He has tunnel vision and the only thing he cares about is his next high. Taking advantage of Mark’s trust grants him exactly what he desired, goods to hock for cash for drugs. Chasing that elusive endless high. He tricked countless tricks yet for some reason the sweet kind-hearted stranger from his past wasn’t easy to forget. When he runs into him in another lifetime he longs for a chance to start anew. But it’s hard to wipe the slate clean when it’s hidden in a mysterious shroud of memories…and deceit.
Both Mark and Jimmy have a solid sense of authenticity that rings clearly within this story. Mark is lonely and convinced himself that love isn’t in the cards for him. He’s tried and failed to find the perfect match. Jimmy is beating his demons and determined to pave bright new roads for his future. He wants to stay clean. He wants to find someone to love and someone to love him. He wants to be…happy. He can attest to the saying, “once you hit rock bottom the only way to go is up”. He leans on his mentor and his roommate when temptations attempt to seduce him. From the main to the supporting cast, all the characters bring a great deal to the table. Fantastic characters are certainly one of Rick’s strongest suits.
The emotional surge is staggering. If there’s one thing you should know about this tale, it’s the fierce intensity of unrestrained feelings that will accompany their perils. I ached for them. I cheered for them. I was…terrified and afraid to turn the page along with them. I loved the passion that vibrates from this book. There was one particular surprise that left me speechless. I did not see it coming and was dumbfounded when it hit me from left field. Nice one Rick!
An up close and personal perspective of the daily battles of an addict. If you are familiar with Reed’s work, you know he doesn’t pussyfoot around when it comes to harsh truths. It’s real and at times, ugly but I can guarantee you’ll be hooked and want to know how it all plays out.
Second chance suckers. And this is a double feature for it’s not only another go at a relationship but a second chance at life. Although I personally don’t have loved ones that battle drug addictions, I’ve seen firsthand the devastation it can bring. If you have an intimate experience with the toxicity of meth, this might cross the comfort line.