Long Time Gone by SE Jakes ~ Review by Lirtle Grafton

From the first sentence, this one chomped down on me like a gods damned rabid alligator (yeah, you’ll see) and did not fucking let go. Thrashing me and my heart about amongst the emotional depth charges, only to try and lull me into the “maybe this will work out” lazy-boy, even though I knew it could not be that easy, to breathe, to anything, no way. And it wasn’t, not for Tommy and Prophet. Not for me.


ltg cover 1 (200x300)Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water 2)

By SE Jakes

Published by Riptide Publishing

Published on October 28th, 2013

M/M Romance set in current times, with two Mercenaries trying to make their way amidst the swamps of Louisiana.

ISBN:  978-1-62649-061-1

Five out of Five Stars




From the Publisher:

When a tornado meets a volcano, nothing is safe.

Soldier of fortune Prophet Drews always worked alone—until Tom Boudreaux became his partner. But when Tom walked away three months ago, ostensibly to keep Prophet safe, Prophet learned the true meaning of being alone. Everyone knows that Prophet, a Navy SEAL turned CIA spook turned mercenary, can look after himself. Which means he must’ve driven his lover away.

Even with half a world between them, Prophet can’t get the man out of his head. Maybe that’s why he’s in New Orleans in the middle of a hurricane, protecting Tom’s aunt. But the only looter around is Tom, bursting back into Prophet’s life. It turns out that Prophet’s been stuck in Tom’s head—and heart—too.

Their explosive reunion gets even hotter when Tom is arrested for murder. As they fight to clear his name, they delve deep into his past, finding enemies among everyone they meet. Staying alive in such a dangerous world is hard enough, but they soon discover that fighting to stay together is the most difficult thing they’ve ever done.


Alligators, Handcuffs and Duct Tape, Oh My…

For these two men, they are a living twisting wild ball of contradictions, ceaseless, and yet they and their myriad imperfections fit together, no matter how much one or other or both of them fail at taking advantage of it all. I think they always recognize it, they see it and want it but the actual “doing” of it is always the challenge. They are still each other’s keys.

Page 69 – no joke – and my entire body warmed. So well done. Yes, it’s hot as hell, but that connection, it’s a driving, suffocating, exalted, maddening, loving connection. This is more than a “romance”, these are two people are clawing for each other, for what they do and mean to each other. Makes me want to roar.

Imagery. Who talks about imagery anymore? Well, this story is full of it. Fingers threaded together as the two of them figure out what’s next, because they know there is a next but how the hell do you get there and without hurting each other too badly, without losing each other in the process? This is their journey, given flight by that one image: fingers threaded together amidst the chaos, attraction, fear and sex. As frustrating as it can be sometimes to watch, many a time the journey must be taken in order to truly arrive, not just at the destination, but with the person who should be there with you. No short-cuts.

It’s still so obvious to me that these two men will never be rid of each other, never separated, truly, ever.

The consistency of character is there in both Tommy and Prophet, and this time: Proph takes care of Tommy (well, everyone – tries to, anyway) and Tom sees the real person Proph is but can’t yet allow himself to become. Switch the names in the sentence above and it still plays true. For each other, they quell that fire inside, the kind of fire that sometimes threatens to consume if faced with no opposition in the form of love and understanding and acceptance. They are each other’s best kind of wet, juicy, thick, indestructible blanket.

Most of us can tell when a story is trying too hard to maintain the reality, when it wavers between making us believe it and yet sometimes separating us from it. In this story, I was sucked in until nothing but ashes remained, leaving me to bump around on the lightest of breezes.

On that note, this story is… heavier. Less one-liners and more emotionally charged particles, serious subjects addressed. This makes sense since Tommy and Prophet know each other better, which means we get to know them better. I want to know these men. I don’t always feel that ‘pull’ of wanting to shake and help, wear sandwich boards, hire a skywriter in order to get two characters to cut through all of the junk and get to being truly together. I felt that here. But as I said earlier, they had to go through every word of this journey to end up where they do. I’ll be taking this journey with them again.

There are a couple of things that I can see maybe some readers noticing and I’ll mention them here: there were a lot of side characters mentioned, probably as an attempt to paint the picture of this taking place mostly in Tom’s hometown and how that affects him still. For some, this could maybe lessen the impact of the hell he survived that was his childhood there. The other is that it felt like there was one too many “dangerous situation where Tom and Proph were forced to be alone together” in order to work out all of the crap between them. Now, neither of these negatively affected my enjoyment of this read because, I mean, c’mon, I’m not sure there is such a thing as too much Tommy and Prophet, but I can see where maybe some will feel a bit of indulgence there. But who cares? I didn’t. This is their story, so indulge away. Fucking FEED ME.

I’ve already plastered so many words onto the screen here, and I could do so many more, this story’s length and depth warrant them all. However, I already feel as if I’ve rambled and yet not truly landed on why these two men slice right through me. What I know is, like a grappling hook, they embedded themselves, deeply, inside my heart and my gut and everywhere else.

I’ll end with this: I hesitate to compare because they are different books in many a sense, but for those of you who read Catch a Ghost and were on the fence, the tone of this part of their story is simply different and I’m willing to bet your doubts will be set aside, if not vanquished. If you read CAG and loved it as much as I did, then this story will fill you to capacity with… well, I’m not sure there is any other way to say it than: simply stated, this turned out to be a love story. A fucking wonderfully crafted love story filled with danger, anxiety, gentleness, messy sexy, gruffness and acceptance.

I love it. I will read it again. I recommend it. There. Go read. Fill yourself with the fawesomeness that is Tommy ‘n Proph.

Full disclosure: both an ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review, as well as I own my own copy of this book.


Buy Links:

Riptide Publishing
All Romance eBooks

Farewell Giveaway
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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6 thoughts on “Long Time Gone by SE Jakes ~ Review by Lirtle Grafton

  1. I’ve read all her Men of Honor books and really enjoyed them, but really loved Free Falling where Prophet was introduced. I have both Catch a Ghost and Long Time Gone and can’t wait to read Tommy and Prophet’s stories.

  2. Hi Lisa 🙂
    Same here, I’ve read all of the books in both series. One of the MoH books was one of the earliest in the this loverly M/M genre that I read.
    As for Proph and the gang, “Dirty Deeds” is up next and out next week!
    I’m betting you already know that. 😉

  3. I loved this book too! I really have to read Free Falling and I can’t wait to read Dirty Deeds. And one of these days I really have to read her Men of Honor books.

  4. Oh, and Kerry: yes you do LOL. Free Falling is fun, a crazy ride like all this one.
    And the MoH books have a bit of a different feel and each one focuses on separate characters with appearances by guys in the others, while still having SE’s strong writing for these alpha men. So many books, never enough time!

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