Title: Digging Deep (Digging Deep #1)
Author: Jay Hogan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Page Count: 354
Reviewed by: Kristin F.
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A Digging Deep Story
Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.
Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.
But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?
Blurb summarizes the plot well enough so I’ll move right to my review.
Trigger warning: a late-term miscarriage scene may be emotionally uncomfortable for some.
Many authors use a story to teach about something: living with multiple sclerosis, being autistic, being asexual, and more. This was about living with Crohn’s disease – a medical condition that disrupts the digestive system (at its most simplistic description). The premise of writing a book is “show, don’t tell”. This book was heavy on both showing and telling the reader about coping with Crohn’s and it became a bit heavy handed in my humble opinion. As the author state in the forward, not everyone’s diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment are the same.
I did appreciate the dual points of view – Drake, who has been living with the disease since his teens, and Caleb, wanting to pursue a relation ship with Drake and getting a crash course in what all that entails. I, personally, did not like Drake. His “prickly” attitude, how he treated his friends and a potential friend, and his assumptions about other people completely rubbed me the wrong way. I kept reading because I loved Caleb, Carmen/Daniel, and Drake’s family. Those were the characters I felt engaged with.
Oh my goodness, was there Bestie Buddies in spades in this book. So many hearts to hearts and the proverbial butt kicking on both sides, it was a bit much for my tastes.
So overall, I’m really waffling between a 3 star and a 4 star read. I felt like I was being lectured to on the Crohn’s, the BBF’s wore me down, and I didn’t like Drake’s character. I greatly enjoyed Caleb, Carmen/Daniel was a hoot, the Korean Mama’s hotline was a great counterpoint to all the medical info dumps and the ending was very sweet.