Title: To Love Again
Author: Andria Large
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 14, 2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Page Count: 127
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Leaving was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. He would have killed me if I stayed, though. I couldn’t have done it without Warwick’s help. Not only did he give me the out I needed, but also a safe place to live. With my ex looming around every corner, looking for the chance to get his hands on me, I received the best gift ever—a month in England—and I took it!
England was supposed to help Jack get away from his ex and find himself again. I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with him there. Especially when I knew he might stay… indefinitely. With my busy schedule as an ER doctor, an ocean between us, and the trust issues his abusive ex inflicted, the chance of a successful long-distance relationship is close to zero. Loving Jack may be the one thing I can’t fix.
I love hurt/comfort books where one of the MCs just came out of an abusive relationship and now needs to heal, with the help of a patient, loving man of course. But… not all writers can pull it off. There needs to be some time to heal until I’m comfortable with a new romance. And there wasn’t enough healing here unfortunately.
Warwick meets Jack for the first time in the ER when Jack comes in with a broken arm and a black eye. Warwick has seen a lot of cases like this in his time as a doctor, so when Jack tells him he fell down the stairs, Warwick doesn’t buy it.
Of course Warwick sees that Jack is extremely intimidated by his huge and aggressive boyfriend who’s standing next to him. But all Warwick can do is give Jack his card and tell him to call him when he needs help.
Several weeks later Jack still hasn’t called the kind doctor from the hospital, even though he really wants to. When Greg finds the card, he explodes and attacks Jack. But Jack runs out of the house and calls Warwick.
Warwick comes to collect Jack immediately when he gets the call. And when Jack doesn’t know where to go, Warwick offers his spare bedroom, and Jack gratefully accepts.
Warwick has a roommate, but she’s just fine with Jack staying with them. When several weeks have past Jack still doesn’t feel safe enough to go outside or go to work. And that’s when Warwick comes up with a plan to go to England to visit his family. Greg can’t get to Jack there.
The time they spend in England is great, but when feelings start to play a role, neither knows if it would be a good idea to get involved with each other so soon after Jack’s abusive relationship…
There were a few things I liked about this and a few things I didn’t.
What I liked was Jack and Warwick themselves. I liked them both as individual characters and together they were very sweet. I liked the hurt/comfort parts in this, with Jack being scared and Warwick taking care of him.
But I also had a hard time with several other things.
Jack had been abused and raped for over a year, but no one mentioned therapy or seeking help to get him to mentally heal. Even though Warwick should know better as a doctor. At one point he says Jack should just try to forget about Greg. As if it’s that easy!
Now it seemed as if Jack just got over it in a matter of weeks, with the help of Warwick’s magical healing dick of course.
I also didn’t get the roommate. She was OTT ADHD like and way too friendly. She also didn’t really serve a purpose to the story. I just thought it was weird that she said to Warwick that they should even live together when both of them were married to other people because she didn’t want to part. That’s not healthy in my book, but okay….
And then Greg himself. He was simply too evil. Now I couldn’t take him seriously as a villain anymore. It seemed he had super tracking powers and constantly knew where to find Jack or how get his phone number. And what happened with him at the end wasn’t given enough page time at all. It was just resolved in 2 sentences.
This story had a lot of potential, if Jack was just given more time to heal and perhaps had some therapy, I would have believed in his miraculous recovery a bit more. So it wasn’t a bad story, but I can’t say it was a huge success either.