Well this one slammed into me like a freight train out of control...

Rock Solid - Riley Hart, Joe Arden

As a rule I tend to shy away from books about addicts. They're a mixed bag of feelings for me and sometimes it makes it hard to read a story and even pretend to be objective, but I decided to give this one a go...what I didn't expect was that this author would have me crying my eyes out at the end of it. 


Ok, let me explain here. I'm not nor have I ever been an addict...I am however, that person who fell in love or at least thought they were in love with an addict. In a previous life when I was young and foolish I was sure that he loved me enough not to want the booze more than me and he kept promising so it was going to happen right? I was going to save him...yeah, we all lie to ourselves and it's this part of my past that connected me to this story because Trevor was that person...the addict who whether he realized it or not had the strength to do what it takes to do battle with his addiction because you don't get cured and you never beat addiction...you fight it every day and every day that you don't give in you get a victory...a small victory in a battle that you have to be willing to fight again the next day and the next day. 


If you're really lucky, when you fight this battle, you have people who believe in you who tell you that you can do it and you know that they really mean it and if they're lucky you win the battle one day at a time.  Unfortunately many an addict will tell you by the time that they're truly on the road to recovery and winning the battle one day at a time on a regular basis they've managed to break faith with most, if not all of those who have believed in them with unfaltering faith...


Enter Trevor Dixon...Trevor's been clean for a year and he's come home to help his brother build his construction company, Rock Solid Construction into a company that's 'rock solid' and to show his twin brother, Blake and his momma that he's clean, he's getting his life together, they can have faith, trust him, believe in him again and stop worrying about him. But it's not Blake or their momma who gives Trevor the faith and trust that he needs to let him know that the bad days are worth the struggle, it's a stranger, a possible client for 'Rock Solid' and someone who's as messed up as Trevor in their own way. Dr. Simon Malone's trying to rebuild not just his new home but his life...he's a heart surgeon who can't perform surgery and has no idea what direction his life needs to go in but there's something about the undeniably attractive contractor who's comes to give him an estimate on his renovations.


Trevor and Simon get off to a decidedly rocky start and it takes a bit of effort on Trevor's part to convince Simone to give Rock Solid a chance at doing his renovations, but Trevor's sheer determination and tenacity finally wear him down.


I was definitely enjoying this story and if you'd asked me at any point up until around the halfway point I'd have told you this and Joe Arden's narration for the story was...'rock solid' (see what I did there). But somewhere along the way in the second half of the story my like went to 'oh-my-god-I-need-to-hear-the-rest-of-this-book' something just slipped into place for me with this story. Trevor's struggle to stay clean and not relapse broke my heart and while I understood where Trevor's mom and brother were coming from it didn't stop me from being angry at them that they couldn't find it in themselves to trust him one more time...he was trying so freaking hard and struggling on his own...feeling alone in the world until he realized that Simone was there for him...always there for him. Maybe he wasn't doing everything right...ok, no maybe about it. Simone screwed up superbly at times but he kept trying...something he'd never done for anyone before.


I've read more than a few books that I've really loved and enjoyed but it's not that often that I feel like I've connected with a book on such a visceral level. But this one did. I was cheering for Trevor and more than once I held my breath as I silently prayed 'don't do it Trevor, don't give in you're better than this.' and I raged at Blake and their mom as they tore away at Trevor's heart and his determination...I know they didn't mean to but it's what they were doing and the hurt it caused Trevor was palpable. Please don't get me wrong I do understand their hesitation as I said back at the beginning...I've been them and it's taken me a lot of years to realize that everyone deserves a second chance...they may not make good use of it but it doesn't mean they don't deserve it and Trevor well for me Trevor represents the second chance that isn't lost or wasted. 


I haven't read a lot of books by Riley Hart and maybe this isn't the best of what's been written but it's a story that I connected with and it truly touched my heart and for that reason it'll always have a special place on my bookshelves.