Author: Jamie Fessenden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/07/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: M/M Romance
Derek Sawyer thinks he has it all—a high-salaried position, a boyfriend, a dog, even a new cabin on the lake—until a business trip with his manager and best friend, Victor, shatters his world.
One night of drunken horsing around in their hotel room leads to the most intensely personal violation Derek has ever endured. As if the humiliation of working under his attacker every day isn’t enough, Victor reports Derek for sexual harassment. Now he’s without a job, without a boyfriend, and the mortgage on the cabin is due.
Officer Russ Thomas has worked with rape victims before, and it doesn’t take him long to sort out the truth in Derek’s tale. With his support, Derek finally reports the crime, months after it happened. But restraining orders and lawyers further Victor’s anger toward him, and even though a relationship develops between Derek and the policeman, Russ can’t be there to protect him all the time.
Derek Sawyer seems to have it all. A nice condo, a great job, engaged to the man he loves, works with Victor his best friend of 20 years and he and his fiancé have just bought a cabin in the wilderness to use for weekends and holidays.
When he and Victor head off to Tampa for work nothing could have prepared him for how his life was about to change. After too much to drink Derek wakes up to Victor raping him and his whole existence spirals out of control. Instead of reporting it Derek cleans himself up and closes himself down and has to live through travelling home the next day with the man that has violated him and who is behaving as though nothing is wrong.
His upbringing certainly doesn’t help him deal with what has happened to him. We have to watch him over the next few months try and act as though he is fine when really his world has imploded. Victor continues to act as though nothing is wrong and his fiancée, who is insensitive as hell and a douche, has no idea what has happened. Slowly their relationship folds under the stress and when things take a turn for the worse at Derek’s work and he is fired Tim walks away from the relationship without a backward glance.
Flailing, alone and rapidly running out of options the only person who believes in him without any question is Russ. The man is perceptive as hell after dealing with rape victims through work and he is quick to realise the truth of Derek’s situation. With coaxing and support he persuades Derek to report the crime and start taking back his life.
I suppose as anyone running scared would feel Victor hasn’t finished with Derek yet but when he lurches back into Derek’s life yet again things don’t go for him as planned.
Although the story is filled with angst and the topic is serious and bleak there is also humour and glimpses of hope. There is a huge difference in the man Derek sees in the mirror and the man he feels he has become. To say I enjoyed this story seems wrong. I think I felt this story – I felt Derek’s fears and shame, cheered for him when he made strides back to his old life and I loved Russ for having his back through it all. I am so glad there wasn’t some magic resolution at the end. It was painful and slow and every step of the way felt right.
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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