A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn
One Sentence Review: An okay read of true love fighting against a madman stalker.
Jamie Taylor meets Grant Stevens through his work as a tech at a physical rehabilitation facility. Sparks ensue and Grant comes out of the closet for Jamie.
Things would be just great if it wasn’t for the fact that Jamie has this stalker problem. The administrator’s son, Donnie, has a thing for Jamie and doesn’t like Grant showing up and horning in on what he considers his territory. Donnie makes his feelings known in a variety of violent ways. He preys upon everyone and everything that Jamie loves. Soon, that includes Grant.
It’s hard to get a relationship started in good times, but with Donnie creating mayhem around every corner, it is even more of a challenge. But, Donnie’s hate is not nearly as strong as Jamie and Grant’s love.
Love, Jamie is the first book by this author that I’ve read. Though not without problems for me, I thought it was an okay read and I would be willing to pick up others by her, including this book’s sequel, Love, Grant.
Jamie is a tech at a physical rehab center, happy in his job and training to become a physical therapist. He has a pretty full life between work, school and occasionally seeing his friends. His patients adore him and vice versa, and he does his job really well. One day new patient Grant comes in after being in a bad car accident that caused multiple serious injuries. He is going to be there a while and even though there is no indication that Grant is would return his feelings, Jamie is very attracted to the gorgeous man. They strike up a fast friendship, and Grant announces that he wants to try a relationship with Jamie; he was so far in the closet that he didn’t even know that he had desire for men, but Jamie has definitely piqued his interest. Unfortunately, their budding relationship is marred by the rehab owner’s son, Donnie, who has a delusional crush on Jamie. As they try to ignore him, Donnie takes his stalker ways to the next level and beyond, making life very difficult and even dangerous for our lovebirds and those around them.
What I liked:
I liked our two heroes and believed in their relationship. They’re just two normal guys who, outside of the whole stalker thing, love each other and want to be together. I could see these guys living next door to me. Although there is InstAttraction on Jamie’s part, I bought the slow build-up of their friendship and relationship, and Grant’s easy and angst-free change from pretty much asexual to gay. I loved Jamie’s easing of inexperienced Grant into man-on-man smexxin, and Grants eagerness and excitement over it (and just being with Jamie). I liked how they supported each other through their trials and ordeals.
I liked Jamie’s LOLs (Little Old Ladies) and Brit the dog, who was essentially a full secondary character. I thought the smexxin, for the most part, moved the story along to a point, but after a while I found it to be just this side of too much.
What I didn’t:
My biggest issue was that the whole thing with Donnie and how it was handled by the police didn’t ring true to me. Not that I don’t believe that stalkers do exist and can be serious threats, but like our heroes, I was appalled that the police couldn’t find him at all for many weeks despite the fact that he would repeatedly show up at Jamie’s house to cause escalating trouble. Even though it was the intent to serve a restraining order, he had intensified his bad doings to include much more serious charges that would, in my opinion, have had the police putting in some more serious time trying to locate him.
I found the characters to be polarizations, either totally wonderful or totally evil. Our heroes are a bit Gary-Sue-ish: both are great looking, fit, tall, muscular with fabulous personalities. Donnie is a caricature of a delusional bad guy, and I could just imagine him having a thin mustache that he twirls between his fingers as he cackles and plots away. All of the centre residents are lovely dears who cause no trouble, happy to be patient and kind to their rehab staff (and as someone who lived through three grandparents — one of whom was thrown out of three for hitting staff — in such facilities at one time or another, I found it to be somewhat unrealistic). It wore on me just a bit.
Lastly, lots of little niggles (because I must obsess about the little stuff):
Where is money coming from for Grant to live on while he doesn’t have his job any longer? Disability? Something else? We aren’t told. Also I have a question about Brit’s age; as a service/therapy dog, he is called strong and healthy, yet there is a passage where he is named because of behavior he had as a puppy when Jamie was in grade school. Assuming Jamie is in his early twenties (we are never told for sure how old he is), Brit has to be at least 10 (and probably older), which is not young for a Lab. Additionally we are treated with the whole “clean” terminology once again. And finally, I found a timing inconsistency around one of the crimes Donnie committed.
I would recommend this book to fans of this author (of which there are many, it seems) and those looking for a contemporary suspenseful romance. I’ll be posting my review of the sequel, Love, Grant, tomorrow.