Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Book Review: RESURRECTION by Shelly Davidson


His war has just begun.

James (Jamie) Massey has been raised in a strict military household and grew up with the sole purpose of becoming a soldier. He never imagined the heartache his choices in love and war would weigh on his soul, and when he loses everything, he can’t imagine ever being happy again. 

Chris Baker grew up in a small town, raised on the rodeo circuit. When he met Ben, he thought he’d live blissfully every after, but things have a way of not going along as planned. Chris, devastated by his loss, was barely hanging on. 

When Jamie and Chris end up in the same small town diner, it can only be credited to divine intervention. But are both men too damaged? They say God works in mysterious ways. Well, he certainly had his hands full when he chose these two for saving. 

Is it too late?

Triggers: Deals with PTSD, death, and realistic wartime violence.

Carra's Review

Resurrection is both heartbreaking and hopeful, dealing with multiple dramatic and traumatic issues-but also keeping readers optimistic that love will help both main characters heal from their pain.

In the first part of the book, we're introduced to Jamie.  To be honest, I was a little put off by him at first, and I wasn't a fan of his drug use-though to be fair, he didn't start out like that.  I felt bad for Jamie with the way his father pushed him as he was growing up, and I also felt bad for Derrick (his partner/lover) having to deal with the constant separation once he and Jamie are together exclusively.  Then the unthinkable happens, and we see Jamie become disconnected-though it's clear to see that even before he experiences a terrible loss, he's already become somewhat withdrawn and his behavior a bit edgy due to everything he's been experiencing during his deployments.

Next, we get background on Chris who has his own emotionally draining past, and although he does have many years with the love of his life, he also goes through his own heartbreaking loss.  I actually found his and Ben's story to be more painful, especially the final lines of the section of the story.  One thing I really liked was how accepting his friends and family are about Chris' sexuality-it always does my heart good to see this for any character in a gay romance.

Finally, the last part of the book focuses on Chris and Jamie-how they meet, and how their relationship develops over time.  They have so much in common, and with Jamie's extreme PTSD and Chris' need to protect, their bond deepens as they both navigate Jamie's continuing recovery.  

In the first two parts of the story when we're getting Chris and Jamie's individual backgrounds, I did feel it was a little drawn out and overly detailed-more than it needed to be to get the point across.  That said, I was still drawn in to the story and my interest remained focused.  There's chemistry between them, and not just in the bedroom.  The intensity ramps up many times, exacerbated by Jamie's condition making for a dramatic read.  By the end, things do start easing for the couple, though there is still the sense that everything is not quite finished--but then again, with everything they've both been through (Jamie in particular), it's doubtful a fully resolved happily-ever-after could ever be guaranteed.

Resurrection was a 4-star read for me, and I'd recommend this to M/M romance fans 18+ due to adult language, M/M sexual content, and serious topics that can be triggers--so be sure to read the trigger warnings in the synopsis before you start reading.  

My review is based on an ARC review copy provided by the author and is based solely on story content.

About the Author

Who is Shelly Davidson? Shelly is someone who has been writing literally her entire life (and that’s a LONG time) and has always written M/M. Her first story was back in high school and she hasn’t stopped since. Of course, Shelly never dreamed of getting published, so needless to say, she’s in heaven! Shelly loves her characters. Her writing focus is real people, flaws and all, who are hurting or damaged, but deserve a little joy in their lives. Shelly was born and raised in Arizona, but currently lives in California because that is where the money is! She is currently single, but has a grown daughter and an adorable grandson both of whom she loves dearly. While she usually stays pretty much to herself, she does have a Bachelor’s in Social Services and a diverse background that ranges from theater to health care and currently works in accounting, she swears it’s not as boring as it sounds. While this is her first publication, it is by far not the last! She plans on being around for quite some time! You’ve been warned!

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