Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Everything Changes
Author: Melanie Hansen
Heroes: Carey Everett/Jase DeSantis
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 200 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 13, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: What happens when friendship catches fire?
Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.
Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.
A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.
Review: This one was calling my name. From the ex-military, disabled vet, friends to lovers, GFY, etc., I was just a little excited. I was not disappointed.
These guys have such a connection, even before their budding relationship takes hold. They not only served together, but Jase saved Carey’s life on the battlefield, and the two have remained close friends. Jase is one of the few people who totally look past Carey’s disability, doesn’t try to help him at every turn or overcompensate for him. Carey is doing fairly well with his recovery and life, enjoying his new career helping give therapy to other wounded vets and PTSD sufferers. When visiting Jase this time around, he realizes he is starting to see Jase in a different light.
Jase has been in love with Carey for a long time, but knowing it is a one-sided deal, he pushes his feelings aside allowing their friendship to grow while he satisfies himself, or tries to, with miscellaneous men and women. He is still dealing with his own PTSD issues and has yet to find a way to really address the situation.
When these two get together, it is explosive. Smoking hot sex and smexy dirty talk abound. Jase gives it his all, laying it all out there, and Carey is along for the ride in the moment. But, he flounders a bit with his new feelings, which is understandable – he doesn’t just jump right into the I’m gay, it’s ok bandwagon. The hard part was watching Jase deal with it, not wanting to lose their friendship even if they can’t have a full blown relationship. It takes a while for Carey to come to grips and realize what losing Jase really means to him, but he gets there eventually.
Some of this story is told through flashbacks, which I am not generally a fan of. If they aren’t done just right, they really pull me from the story. These were sort of in the middle. They pulled me out a little, but they were also important to really get a feel for what these guys experienced and what brought them together as friends/brothers in arms.
Overall, this was a really enjoyable read with a lot of elements that worked for me. I wasn’t completely sold on the GFY or the flashbacks, but the rest was very well done. It kept my interest throughout and ended with a lovely HEA epilogue. I’ll definitely be looking for more from Ms. Hansen in the future.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*