Reviewed by JustJen
Author: Jack L. Pyke
Series: Don’t #3
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 90,000 words
Publisher: Forbidden Fiction
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Available at: Forbidden Fiction, Amazon and All Romance Ebooks
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: The evidence is there in his hands: the DVD and notepad convincing Jack that Gray is responsible for his kidnapping and torture, tearing Jack and Jan brutally apart. But with Jack trapped in his own mind, lost to blackouts and self-harming, getting away from Gray must take a back seat to getting away from himself.
While locked away in a secret facility run by the Masters’ Circle, a new beast is unearthed from the depths of Jack’s tormented past. Martin only comes out to play when Jack needs to hide, a psychopath as capable of ruining Jack’s life as he is of defending him. Martin is the repository for Jack’s most horrifying memories, protecting him from the bloody tasks Jack can’t handle. Martin’s purpose is to drive everyone Jack fears – or loves – away, before they get the chance to hurt Jack again.
Now Jack hurts more than he ever has before, Martin is back, and Jack has to figure out what Martin knows that Jack forgot, before it’s too late.
Review: If you have made it through the mysterious introduction of Don’t, fallen in love with and then had to suffer along side these guy through Antidote, then you are, no doubt, invested in Jack/Jan/Gray and eager to get your hands on this installment.
Unlike Antidote, which followed events in Don’t, Breakdown takes place near the end of Antidote when Jack’s illnesses and phobias cloud his mind and judgment where Gray is concerned. Jack seems to have made some headway in his recovery, but these guys really haven’t had a chance yet to fully deal with the events from Antidote, and things finally come to a head here. With the help of his father, Jan and Dr. Halliday, Jack is committed to the Master’s Circle Psychiatric Unit. While reluctant at first, Jack soon realizes the extent of the dark place he now finds himself and that he needs to either sink or swim.
This book is very unlike the first two. It focuses solely on Jack and his recovery. At first, I was disappointed that it wasn’t a continuation of Antidote, but I quickly realized what an integral part it plays to the overall story. Jack was one messed up little dude, even before Vince got a hold of him. Martin has been making more and more appearances, and Jack is now more aware of Martin’s existence. He has to fall pretty hard before he can climb back up to the point where he can understand what’s going on inside of him and actually heal or control things. Jack makes huge leaps and bounds here, but still has some underlying issues (such as his inability to “go casual” with Gray’s photo).
What I found so amazing about this story was how easily we were shown Jack from the inside. It was almost as if I was right there with him, wanting to hold his hand and help him understand so he could move on and get back to making amends with Jan and Gray. I loved that we got to see more of the reasoning behind Martin and what led Jack down the path that allowed Martin to take over. The whole Martin aspect is fascinating and so completely understandable/believable given the circumstances. We are shown tidbits of Jack’s early days and some of the causes of his phobias and what brought on his mental illness/issues.
During Jack’s therapy, he is basically aware of what’s going on, is able to discuss his treatments, etc. even if he is unable to control his blackouts or really know what triggers them. He has the help of Craig, his nurse, who is a fabulous character, and his fellow patients, Sally and Joe of the Missing Teeth.
We get to see Jan a bit, though he stays on the sidelines through most (Jack still has issues with Jan, i.e. his smell being a trigger for Jack). You get the feeling that Jan is struggling so much on his own but still trying to be there and do whatever he can for Jack. Gray is mostly in the background as well, since he and Jack are going through some major changes right now. My heart still breaks for Gray as he reached the breaking point of not believing he can be what Jack needs anymore. Gahhhhh, I cannot wait for his book!
So, again, this is a completely different read than the first two books, but the writing is no less specatular or engaging. Some people may struggle with the lack of sex or the focus on Jack alone, but I gobbled up every word and simply could not get enough. I loved that we got to see the recovery side of things, and thank goodness, Jack finally got it and understands what has been happening and what he has been putting Gray (and Jan) through.
If you are looking for a story that will keep you guessing with mystery, twists and turns, make you fall in love with the characters, good and bad, push your limits, make you cringe, and leave you emotionally wrung out, do not hesitate to give Jack Pyke a try. I have yet to be even the slightest bit disappointed and am left longing for the next book before I even finish the current one.
Overall Impression: It was amazing!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*