Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
A guest review by Tj
Summary Review: Quite an enjoyable and clever story of a man who repeats the same day to help people in need, only to find himself falling for someone who won’t remember him in the morning.
The Blurb: After reliving the same day sixty-two times, Repeater Peat Harris is about to give up on his latest case: saving Jake Schwinn. In the past, Peat has solved some seriously twisted crimes, caught the bad guys, and kept an emotional distance. But this time, his heart’s involved, a definite must-never-do on Repeats, and he can’t just walk away—even if that means putting himself into the bullet’s path.
A year ago, Jake’s best friend was gunned down, and Jake has been playing bait to catch the killer. But now a wicked-looking hottie named Peat is warning Jake that he’s about to die—again—unless they can catch the shooter. Yeah, right. Then Jake starts to remember the previous Repeats and how he and Peat hooked up….
The Review: Although maybe not a new idea, this is something that I haven’t read in M/M before. College student Peat Harris is a Repeater, someone who for mysterious reasons, relives a specific day numerous times until he figures out what he needs to change to make the day stop repeating. Sometimes it’s to save someone’s life, but Peat never knows for sure. Once he has completed his task, time restarts and he might get a day, a week or maybe months before it happens again.
Those of you who have seen the movie Groundhog Day will have some idea of what Peat goes through. He has multiple chances to learn about the people he is trying to help, and everything resets at midnight until he gets it right. And as in the movie, the people that he meets on those days don’t remember him when the day starts over. So developing any kind of relationship during a repeat is impossible.
When we first encounter Peat, he is just finishing a final repeat day in Seattle Washington and we get a glimpse into what it is he does. Usually Peat gets a break in between his “assignments”, but this time they ran back-to-back and he gets his usual sense of where he needs to go. He is drawn to a skate boarding park in Boise Idaho, where he meets a really cute skater named Jake. Thinking he has a bit of time until he finds his next person to help, Peat jokes around with Jake, and even flirts a little. But to Peat’s horror, suddenly shots ring out and Jake is killed before his eyes. Well hello new client. That’s kinda how Peat’s days go. He just never knows who he’s sent to help.
Amberly Smith took something used and made it new and better. It was fascinating to watch as Peat tries to save Jake, tries to catch the shooter, and when both of these fail, takes Jake’s place and gets killed himself, multiple times. But in the midst of his attempts to make the repeat end and save Jake, Peat has days where he just spends time with Jake, getting to know him, and truly care about him. And amazingly, although they always only have one day together, some of those days are pretty wonderful for them.
The characters of Peat and Jake are really nicely developed and the storyline was interesting. There is also a fun secondary character in Peat’s fellow Repeater Maddie, who is one very cool chick. You would think with the day repeating, that it would be monotonous, but it’s not – the plot moves along nicely and the repeating days are used to develop the characters.
I wondered how Peat and Jake could develop any kind of relationship with Jake never remembering the prior day, but Ms. Smith found a clever way to make that work. As Peat keeps repeating the day, and weeks turn into months, Jake starts to get a feeling of Deja Vu when he meets Peat each morning. This intensifies until Jake actually starts to remember Peat, and some of what has happened. I loved how this made it feel like the guys had developed such a strong connection that it could bridge the strange repeating process.
Overall I enjoyed this book a lot. I found myself anxious to get back to it when I had to stop reading. I wanted to know what would happen, if Peat would be able to save Jake, and if maybe they could find a way to be together. This is a clever and well written story with a happy ending for those of you who love that. I highly recommend Rinse and Repeat.