Sunday, March 15, 2015

ARC Review: Everything Changes by Melanie Hansen

Everything Changes 
From the blurb:

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.

Heather's rating: 

An impressive debut book from Melanie Hansen, and a sure thing for fans of hurt/comfort with military men. However, as a gay-for-you aficionado, it fell a bit short.

Military GFY is pretty much the dream, am I right ladies and gentlemen? Big, strong men getting down and dirty with each other... all those alpha males... all that testosterone... YES PLEASE!

If you are reading this for the GFY part, I think you will be disappointed. GFY is tricky to write: You need to have the guy be convincingly attracted to another guy, but also convince your readers that this is a totally unique experience. I just didn't buy it here. I think this book would have been better as a closeted story or some other incarnation of an unlikely love story. Even better, just a friends-to-lovers story without the GFY. It was too fast, too easy (in the sexual aspect) for my tastes. It seemed like Carey was already attracted to Jase from the start, and I didn't see the point/merit of the GFY.

If you are reading this for the military aspect, buy away! I think this book seemed really accurate in terms of the military and PTSD details, though some of the medic details were off (suture needles come pre-threaded!). I loved the detail devoted to Carey's amputation status. I think this book nailed the emotional and mental things that someone with a war-injury would go through.

I would have given this book a solid 4 stars if it wasn't for two things: For one, I HATE flashbacks. This book has very frequent flashback scenes to the guys' time in the military, and I just don't like how flashbacks take me out of the flow of the story. In addition, the awkward transitions to the flashback scenes were a pain. Also, I just didn't feel that draw to pick this one up. I read this story off and on for about 4 days, which is a loooong time for me. It wasn't enough to keep me reading continuously.

I think that the love between the MCs came shining through, and the writing was very competent, but this book was just a strong like for me. However, I'd put this author on the list of authors to watch because if this is what she could do with her first book, she will be a fan-favorite in no time.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Check ya later!

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