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What happens when friendship catches fire?
Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.
Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.
A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.
These days, I’m less and less likely to take chances on 1st time authors. I have less time to read, and all my favorite authors are still producing such great books. It narrows my choices. But a friend of mine recommended this book to me, so I gave it a go.
I quite enjoyed this friends-to-lovers, GFY, military story about Carey & Jase. Their friendship, support, devotion, and love for one another drew me in. Carey is an amputee, still dealing at times with his war injury, and slowly realizing that he’s attracted to his best friend. Jase is a Navy medic turned rock star who’s loved Carey since they served together in Afghanistan.
Both Carey and Jase are likable characters and their war-torn pasts make them heroes and also sympathetic characters. As Jase battles PTSD and Casey handles life with a prosthetic leg, their connection is what steadies and grounds each of them. When they finally give in to their growing attraction, it is HOT. But it’s also tender and so very intimate.
The author clearly knows her facts, whether by life experience or research. As a native San Diegan, I give kudos to her spot-on depiction of military life in America’s Finest City. And the war scenes, the life-in-the-military depiction, and even the medical details all seem completely legit and accurate. I do think, however, since the author really knew her stuff, it actually resulted in a lot of ‘info-dump’ throughout the book…making the read a tiny bit cumbersome.
The middle of the book started to drag a little bit for me and I think there were chunks that actually could have been cut to make it flow a bit better. It read a lot longer than 200 pages. But, there’s no denying that the author has a real knack for emotional storytelling and is a talented writer.
It wasn’t a consumed-in-one-sitting read for me…in fact, I had to come back to it a few times. But their last bit on the road to a HEA gripped my heart, had me in tears, and put a lot of things about life and love into perspective for me.
I ultimately really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more from Melanie Hansen!
Title: Everything Changes
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 13, 2015
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner