Title: A World Apart (Loving Again #1)
Author: Mel Gough
Publisher: Ninestar Press
Release Date: 18th Sep, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary, Comfort/Healing
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Ben Griers is the darling of Corinth Georgia’s Police Department—intelligent, handsome, and hardworking. Thanks to his beautiful wife and clever daughter, Ben’s family is the envy of the town. Yet desperate unhappiness is hiding just below the surface.
When Donnie Saunders, a deadbeat redneck with a temper, is brought to the Corinth PD as a suspect in a hit-and-run, Ben finds himself surprisingly intrigued by the man. He quickly establishes Donnie’s innocence but can’t shake the feeling that Donnie is hiding something. When they unexpectedly encounter each other again at an AA meeting in Atlanta, sparks begin to fly.
With his marriage on the verge of collapse, Ben is grateful for the other man’s affection. But he is soon struggling to help an increasingly vulnerable Donnie, while at the same time having to deal with the upheaval in his own life. Ben eventually realizes that they cannot achieve happiness together unless they confront their darkest secrets.
‘A World Apart’ by Mel Gough is my first read from this author. It is emotional, draw at your heart-strings type of love story which is not at all conventional. The MCs meet when they are both very down in their lives and find a connection which was pure and beautiful in so many ways.
Ben is going through a rough time in his marriage. The life he has created with his family is falling apart around him and he cannot do anything to stop it, as he knows deep down that it is for the best. Whereas, Donnie is battling a horrible sickness all on his own. These two men come together by chance but they soon discover a connection which they both needs to battle each of their demons and also support and hold up each other when things are far from perfect in their lives.
As I said this is not one of your conventional romances. Donnie’s sickness is not an afterthought in this story. The author really delves into his sufferings and how badly he needs someone in his court as Donnie falls terribly sick almost at the beginning of their relationship. I loved Ben for sticking with Donnie throughout. This story is filled with hurt/comfort feelings that will make you cry but also soothe your heart with the love and affection. Ben and Donnie made a very sweet couple who were just what each other needed at the right time in their lives.
The romance happened too fast for me. I could tell that Ben was an exemplary guy who will never leave Donnie when he was suffering but I never expected the ‘falling in love’ part to happen so quickly. The plot was solid and very character-driven and it would have been so much better if the romance was given time to actually develop properly before the ‘Love You’s were said. Also the part where, Ben actually never comes out and tells Donnie about his failing marriage before breaking out the ‘I Love You’s, felt a little deceiving. Ben’s family was ok with it but in real world I don’t think any other family would have been so understanding.
Character-wise as well as the overall care which has been taken to deal with Donnie’s sickness, this story is pretty great. The MCs are sweet and they meshed well together in comforting/healing sort of way but the passion was kinda underwhelming. As almost 60% of the story is focused on Donnie being sick, there was no place to actually see a relationship developing. The whole story was realistic with respect to the horrors of Donnie’s sickness and how it affects Ben but not in respect of how the guys fall in love in the middle of it all. The story had a lot of awesome elements to be a real hit for me but ultimately I did not like how it was executed.
Overall it was an ok read for me. It was a quick read with a lot of painful moments but also had its fair amount of light and positive moments which made sticking to Ben and Donnie’s love story worthwhile.