Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper

Kaje Harper might be the new Queen of the M/M Family Drama

John Barret meets Ryan Ward for the first time when he spots Ryan struggling to get up after taking a bad fall at Bonaventure University. Ryan is a first year Medical student at the school where John is Heads Groundskeeper.

They hit it off from there and become friends. Ryan is a bit older than the average first year Med student, and does not know many people. After a crippling injury working as a firefighter for the SDFD he decided to give Medical School a try. He's a little bit lonely, and very glad to meet John, a guy who seems easy to talk to and a better fit for him than his classmates. John is divorced, his wife has moved with his kids to California and is living a pretty lonely life, for him Ryan is a Godsend.

John and Ryan begin an easy friendship, they get along so well. Both are single straight men, but not really interested in a relationship. They seem to fulfill a lot of each others needs with the time they spend together. There is a strong connection between them that just grows.

Ryan eventually rents a room in John's house, and what is between them deepens all the more; John is having a very hard time in getting his wife to give him access to his kids, and Ryan is still struggling with all the changes that this injury had forced into his life. They help each other a lot with the rough spots in their lives.

As they share more and more with each other, they realize that they might be feeling things for each other that surpass a friendship and a romance begins. As two men who have never contemplated this kind of relationship they struggle to find a balance. When John's children become a big part of the equation, they have to decide what they are to each other...And as if all that is not enough, there is also the thing with students dying on campus and John and Ryan always kind of being around when it happens.

This book was quite good. I really enjoyed reading about Ryan and John. They were both very likable men, and they had brilliant, sweet moments. Men who were strong and intrinsically good with their priorities VERY straight. Kaje Harper is CLEARLY in her Sweet Spot when she goes for the family drama. This book for me went from good to great the moment the kids came on the scene.

I LOVED the sense of loyalty and steadiness that Ryan showed for John and his children. John was also so loving and just SURE of what he wanted. They were a united front, and so certain that even if they had no clue what they were doing, they were on the right track.

My one issue with Ryan and John was the "Gay for You" thing, it was a stretch for me. Two SUPER straight guys who have never even been bi-curious, one in his late thirties one thirty, are all of a sudden gay and in love with another man and for the most part okay with it...I don't know I was reluctant to take that in stride.

It was just hard for me to believe that two men who were so quick to accept such an enormous change in their sexuality, would not have clued into that part of who they were earlier in life...I mean just the thought of anal sex should have been daunting, but it didn't seem to be that big of a problem.

It would have worked better for me if they had at least had doubts earlier in their lives. It just seemed WAY TOO EASY. Having said that my issues with that eased a lot once they began working on becoming a family. Especially once we met the ex-wife and the new husband, those two were a nightmare.

All in all very good book. Like I said this author can work the Family Drama, it's not easy to write teenagers and she did it exceedingly well.

I hope she comes back to this type of book.

The Rebuilding Year is for sale at and Samhain Publishing

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