Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
As a musician at the popular college café Coed Joe’s, high school senior Kai Manter is never lacking for male attention. Out, proud, free-spirited, and sexually aware, Kai sets his sights on his darkly Gothic and undeniably bad-tempered coworker, Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university. Sporting long hair and alluring hippie style, Kai expects his interest will be reciprocated, with satisfying sex as the end goal. That’s what usually happens. But Jamie’s lessons in life have been harsher. Having been sexually abused by his older stepbrother for several years, Jamie has grown an impenetrable outer shell meant to keep the world at a safe distance.
Kai is angry at first when he takes the brunt of Jamie’s bad temper, but after Kai accidentally discovers the abuse Jamie has suffered, he wants to fix things. Kai’s plan is based on what he knows best—music—and he stages a “musical intervention” to let Jamie know he’s not alone and things can get better. When Jamie’s perspective changes and he emerges from his shell, Kai changes, too, gaining a whole new understanding of what sex can be when love is there too.
This is a tough read about a tough subject. It reminded that me that through all the ugly you can still see the beautiful.
Kai is just finishing his final year of high school and lives life to suit himself. His last relationship landed him a stalker so casual sex is his mantra. Wham bang thank you man and out the door is the motto he is happiest with.
His latest target is the sexy Goth waiter he works with and is going to prove a bigger challenge than most.
Jamie Arlotta is an art student at the local college and works as a waiter at the local coffee shop where all the students hang out. He doesn’t smile, he doesn’t talk to people and he certainly doesn’t hook up. His public persona is cold, spiteful and mean.
When Kai first tries to strike up a conversation with Jamie it is completely unsuccessful. The mean words that come out of Jamie’s mouth are almost enough to make him walk away until he finds him being bullied by another man and looking scared for his life. The other man is Jamie’s older brother and when Kai finds him bullying him for a second time a few days later Jamie lets his secret slip out in a moment of anger. He has been sexually abused by his brother and the man is back and showing an interest in him again.
Kai is floored by this revelation and doesn’t know what to say or do. Jamie runs and refuses to talk to him again. It seems the only time Jamie ever acknowledges Kai is when he is singing at the cafe where they both work, so Kai comes up with a plan. He will speak to Jamie through his music.
He plans a musical intervention.
Slowly but surely Jamie starts to thaw and reaches out to develop a tentative relationship with Kai.
This book is full of pain. Jamie carries around confusion, shame, disgust and so many other emotions within the walls that he has built. He has been blackmailed by his abuser to stay quiet and to believe it his own fault. The picture in his apartment of the little boy hiding under the table damn near broke my heart.
Kai, for the first time in his life wants to pursue another man for something other than sex. For such a young man he was compassionate and thoughtful even though at times he was so far out of his depth you felt he was drowning. When he couldn’t find the words he used his music and really spoke to Jamie. His mission in life was all about finding the lyrics to convey his feelings, support and understanding.
Abusers are evil people from all walks of life who thrive on having power over another person. Jamie may have left the house that the abuse happened in but he could never get away from the memories. He couldn’t get away from his brother who had no intention of losing his power. The cycle is absolutely heart breaking.
One night back at the family home and the cycle starts again and I literally wanted to kill someone at this point. Any trust Jamie had built, any walls that he had brought down, any happiness he had felt was taken away from him in that moment. Kai is left confused, hurt and angry and has no idea what has happened. It is back to the music, back to the lyrics, back to hope and one last intervention.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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