Author: Diana DeRicci
Publisher: Purple Sword
Cover Artist: Anastasia Rabiyah
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Ed Norwood is living in limbo. He has his friends, his job, and his parents, but he’s feeling restless. More so now that his ex has found something perfect with another man. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate and move on. He wished he knew.
Duncan Nichols is the man who could change everything, if he is willing. Ex-Army Veteran trained in canine Search and Rescue, Duncan and Ed’s first meeting is fraught with tension and worry after massive storms slice through Silo. Duncan is surprised to find a community that is open and giving in Silo, and is welcomed to return to show off his dog’s skills at the annual firehouse fundraiser.
Without the stressful distractions of storms and missing people getting between them, lust flares nearly out of control between the two men. Only Ed wants and needs more in life than a friend with benefits, and when he says as much, Duncan is quick to put the kibosh on even dreaming of a happily ever after. Then real life intervenes when Ed’s mother falls ill, and Duncan returns to Ed’s side in support.
Can Ed break through the barriers Duncan has put up to protect himself? There’s more to Duncan than the left hand he habitually hides. Ed believes if Duncan cracks even a little, he can prove it. If it just wasn’t his heart at stake to make that happen…
As the title suggests, this story was just a beginning. Healed Beginnings shows that sometimes getting to the starting point of a relationship can be most of the work. That sometimes, people need a reason to change for the better. In a genre where love is all too often instant and easy, I love finding stories like Ed and Duncan’s. I enjoy an emotional struggle every once in a while to break up the sweet romance.
Ms. DeRicci has a way of creating characters who tug at my heartstrings. I sympathized with Ed because I understand what it is like to want more from life but not be able to find it. I hurt for Duncan because he could not see that he was worthy of love and that he deserved more than a lonely existence. The actions of the adults in his past and his PTSD/injury from his time in the Army combined to leave Duncan a very scarred individual and I just wanted to hug him and make it all better!
There really was no great plot here and there were times I felt I the relationship took unexplained leaps forward. But overall, I really felt connected to these men and their outcome. Even with the few confusing moments, this relationship was a slow and steady development. There was character growth as well, more so for Duncan than Ed, but both men had to learn from their pasts and understand their desires for a future before they could allow love in. I loved that the ending was not forced into the HEA mold, that it was left as a very strong HFN. It left me wanting more. I want the next book in this series, because I want to see glimpses of Ed and Duncan to see that they are still moving towards that HEA they both deserve.
Can I also point out that the sexual tension between these men was amazing? They were so HOT together. Not being a man myself, I can never point out if the details are done correctly, but the tension and lust was spot on. When Ed and Duncan got together, the heat jumped off the page. I was easily swept away into their passionate encounters.
Finally, I loved Margo. She brought a bit of fun to this rather emotional tale. I would love to know more about canine search and rescue. I loved her interactions during the fundraiser and I love the way her behaviors were so carefully crafted. You can tell the author did a bit of research on obedience training and how well trained dogs act.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
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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