From the bigger picture issue of sexual assault and violent crimes in the setting of academia, Janice Jarrell takes us into the lives of four men, giving us a very up close and personal look at how one act of violence touches their lives...bringing them together, driving them apart, making each man look more closely at what he has, what he could loose and ultimately what he's willing to do to keep it.
'Love's Magic' isn't an epic or grand action or romance story, but rather it's a story about how one event unfolded to touch the lives of four men. We begin with David and Nate, who are in a committed relationship at the start of the story and we follow them as they each struggle to deal with Nate's attack. While each man's reaction to events is distinctly different their love for each other and their desire not to give up on the relationship that means so much to them remains strong within their hearts. It's going to take a lot of introspection on both of their parts to find their way back to each other.
When Professor David Gardener gets a call telling him that Professor Nate Reese, the man he lives with and loves more than life itself has been seriously injured preventing the assault of one of the college's students all he can think about is getting to his lover. What neither David nor Nate could possibly foretell was how much their lives and the lives of those around them would be affected.
As the reader, or in this case the listener, follows David and Nate, while each man deals with the effects of Nate's attack in their own way we are introduced to a number of secondary characters and while our look at the effects on their lives isn't as in depth as that of David and Nate it is undeniably present from the strain it creates between David and his fellow professors to the bond that forms between Nate and the guardian of the student he rescued to how it draws Sergeant Colin Campbell from the campus police and Dr. Joshua Abrams, the colleges Title IX Consultant, together...ultimately becoming the catalyst that pushes them apart leaving Colin on his own to deal with the memory of events from his past that could keep him from having the future that in his heart he knows he wants with Joshua.
Ms Jarrell has created four characters that are all very likable and by the end of this story I was a fan of all four men...each of them containing their own admirable traits and imperfections...making all of them seem not just human but so very likable and real. While the focus of the story is David and Nate along with Colin and Joshua the author also weaves other characters into the story giving a more thorough and well rounded picture of the story's events along with who and how their lives were touched. At the end of it all we are essentially given David and Joshua's story with a solid HEA and we are left with Colin and Joshua in a good place.
If you’re looking for a steamy, sex fixes everything story than I have to admit you’re probably going to be disappointed. That’s not to say that there aren’t any sexy times here but the sex in this one is very much a part of the relationships and often times almost fade to black and not a driving force of the story. This ones definitely more plot driven than sex dependent and if you’re a fan of stories where it take more than some dazzling sex for the MCs to be able to overcome obstacles and get their lives on track than I think maybe like me, you won’t be disappointed.
I'm not really sure what I was expecting when I started this one but what I got was a story that drew me in, was compelling, realistic and told with very believable characters and was narrated by new to me narrator Walker Williams, who did a superb job of giving added depth and emotion to both the story and the characters while bringing them to life. While his overall narration was enjoyable for me his voices for David, Nate, Colin and Joshua connected incredibly well with each of the characters and meshed perfectly with the images that I had in my mind. So in the end what I was given was a story that I loved and that I’m looking forward to continuing with more of in regards to Colin and Joshua but if David and Nate turn up from time to time you can be sure that this listener/reader will be doing a bit of a happy dance.
An audio book of "Love's Magic" was graciously provided by the 'Gay Book Promotions' in exchange for an honest review.