Author: J.H. Knight
Release Date: July 27, 2014
Page Count: 59
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
The road to recovery is never easy, even when you’re just an innocent bystander to someone else’s addiction.
For Jack, it’s especially hard because he blames himself for his son Rick’s drug problems. It took Jack over half his life to admit to himself (and his wife) that he was gay, but years later, he still carries guilt over what his realization did to his son.
He never thought Rick’s treatment would help him rehabilitate too, but when Jack meets Seth, the man trying to help his son get back on his feet, it’s the breakthrough he never knew he needed.
Jack. Sweet, tortured-by-guilt Jack. My dream book-boyfriend. As a 46-year-old woman married to a 48-year-old man, Jack is right in my demographic. As I read J.H. Knight‘s description of Jack, model Laurence Nicotra popped into my head and I fell even harder. Best. Visual. Ever.
Jack is a man with guilt weighing him down to the point of misery. He denied his sexuality for so long that by the time he came out of the closet, he had a wife and teenage son. His son, Rick, struggles with addiction and has been in and out of rehab for years.
Rick is currently in a swanky, country club style rehab facility in Arizona when he calls his dad to come out for a visit and a round of family therapy sessions. Jack begrudgingly agrees (not because he doesn’t love and support his son, but because he is very hands-off with his emotions and afraid of the therapeutic process.) Jack meets with his ex-wife Marie, her husband Doug (a delightful, open, honest man who Jack is very fond of) son Rick and Rick’s hippyish tree-hugging-granola-eating-sandal-wearing therapist Seth, who Jack finds very attractive. During this therapy session, Jack has a “breakthrough” about his life, life choices and overwhelming guilt. It turns his life on its head. From the Psychology Wikia:
A psychotherapeutic breakthrough can be said to occur when a client makes swift progress, particularly after a period of resistance, perhaps as a result of new insight.
So, Jack is dealing with newfound emotions, his son’s new, vibrant health, his growing email and chat room friendship with Seth, his own dabbling in therapy sessions and meeting his best friend, Mindy’s, new boyfriend. He writes in his diary of this time period:
If feel lonely, but I feel happy too. How is that possible?
You’ll have to read the book to see what surprises are in store for our lovely Jack.
As a rabid fan of J.H. Knight‘s The Last Thing He Needs (my favorite book of 2014) I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on this one. I’m quite sure that you will read other reviews when Breakthrough comes out and hear a common consensus: “I loved it, but it should have been longer!” At only 59 pages, this is a short one. Bummer, huh? BUT, I’m going to focus on all the positive aspects of this book. It is heartfelt, engaging and sweet. It contains wonderful, surprisingly fleshed-out characters for the length and we even get a melt-the-paint-off-the-walls sex scene. Don’t ever say I am one to look a gift horse in the mouth. J.H. Knight is a fabulous story-teller and I will gladly gobble up whatever she has for me. No complaints about length, character development or lack of multiple sex scenes. Breakthrough is perfect just the way it is. It left me feeling outrageously warm and fuzzy with that overly sweet ooey, gooey feeling that only a rare few books give me. (Examples include Witness, the Last Thing He Needs, Learning to Feel, Strong Enough and The Shearing Gun).
Highly, highly recommended.