What happens when friendship catches fire?
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.
I bought this back in 2015 when it was first released and then I squirreled...what can I say it's a thing that I do...frequently. But I've been reading long enough that I know a book that I want to read when I see it so I get them and when the timing feels right I drift back and read them.
In this case I was motivated by the opportunity to listen to the second book in this series on audio. While these books can be done as standalones, if I'm going to read a series I like to at least try and start at the beginning and I had a little time so I decided to squeeze this one in and I'm glad I did.
'Everything Changes' is a friends to lovers, GFY story about two men who meet during their military enlistment. Jase is a medic assigned to Carey's marine corp. It's during their enlistment that they develop a strong bond as friends. It's also during this time that Carey losses his lower leg and gets shipped home early.
When Jase is finally discharged he goes in search of Carey and helps him through his recovery before returning to his life in California, while Carey ends up in Colorado counselling vets. Still in spite of the distance their friendship continues.
Things Change during Carey's visit and Jase ultimately confesses that he's been in love with Carey for a long time. When Carey's time with Jase comes to an end Carey chooses to return to Colorado under the premise of needing time because 'he's not gay'.
'Everything Changes' was well done and I enjoyed it, but I have to admit for some reason it just didn't put me over the moon the way a story like this usually does and I truly think that it's totally on my this time because I've been pondering this and I have yet to come up with anything that I didn't like or that spoiled the story for me...I got nothin'. However, I can come up with a nice list of what I liked...
I like both of the MC's. Yes, I got a little frustrated with Carey, but I could see where he was coming from. All his life he'd believed he was straight and suddenly he's having not so straight feelings about a guy...yes, it was his best friend, but still it's a guy...so for him it was a bit disconcerting. It wasn't that he was homophobic or anything just really surprised by his feelings and honestly, if I was Carey I'd probably have the same reaction.
I liked Jase. He was such an amazingly good friend and so in love with Carey. More than what he wanted for himself what mattered for Jase was Carey's happiness. I loved that for Jase it was about attraction to the person, not the gender. Truthfully the world could use a whole lot more people like Jase.
I liked Jase and Carey together. They were awesome friends and scorching hot as lovers. I had zero doubt that once Carey got his mind around things they'd be an amazing couple. I loved that while the epilogue was short we saw that they weren't perfect just two men in love, dealing with life and it's challenges the best they could.
In general I liked this story it worked for me...so you see nothing that really stands out in my mind as being wrong or offensive or spoiled the story in any way. Lots that I liked but whatever the reason this didn't go from good to great for me. But I did like it reading was no hardship so I'm looking forward to checking out more by this author and I've got 'Signs of Life' the second book in this series all quayed up and ready to go on audible.
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Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are. (Mason Cooley)
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