Reviewed by JustJen
Author: Melanie Hansen
Series: Resilient Love #3
Heroes: Loren Smith/Eliot Devlin
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 296 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 22, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Loren Smith has been in love with Eliot Devlin almost his entire life. During their turbulent childhood and teen years, Loren didn’t always understand Eliot, and sometimes he could be a challenge, but Eliot was the only one to ever truly ease Loren’s deep loneliness and accept him. When Eliot’s increasingly erratic and self-destructive behavior culminates in a suicide attempt at seventeen, Loren is devastated.
Upon meeting again by chance nine years later, Loren is enjoying a successful career as a police officer while Eliot’s life has been a constant struggle for stability. In and out of mental hospitals, with a rap sheet a mile long, he continues to be buffeted by the twin storms of mania and depression. Loren’s love and protectiveness for Eliot are deeply ingrained in him, however, and their feelings for each other are quickly rekindled.
Loren has issues of his own he’s dealing with, and trying to understand and cope with Eliot’s bipolar disorder isn’t easy. They believe they’re meant to be, and Eliot brings a fulfillment to Loren’s life that no one else will ever match. But as they both come to realize, love by itself can’t cure all.
Review: This is one heartbreaking story, although it does end on a happy note. When Loren and Eliot become childhood friends, Loren knows there is something different about Eliot, that he’s crazy on some level. Loren sticks by him and becomes his rock, able to calm him and talk him down from his episodes. But, after Eliot attempts suicide, he is committed and Loren loses all contact.
Fast forward nine years, and Loren accidentally meets up with Eliot when he sees him dancing at a club. Eliot is grown now and seems to be functioning ok, but that’s just on the surface. Loren’s feelings are still there for Eliot, and the two get reacquainted once again and take their relationship further.
The struggles in this story are so real and just about unimaginable. Eliot is bipolar and it affects his life daily. He has to accept that he needs medications and commit to taking them, as opposed to his past practices of making the voices stop with alcohol, etc. Those evil voices rarely leave him in peace, and he lashes out in various ways he has found help him cope the best over the years, from random sex, to alcohol, to self-harm. Unfortunately, those are all pretty self-destructive.
Loren learns to understand Eliot’s issues and cope (or tries to) with his mood swings, etc. It isn’t easy, but nothing in this book really ever is. Both guys have to find a balance in order to live peacefully together, which is so difficult when it takes so little to upset that balance. Stress is a big trigger for Eliot, which is difficult when Loren’s job as a cop comes into play. Loren’s career is just one more thing he must contend with in deciding what’s more important.
This story will grip you from the beginning and keep you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. It is my favorite of the series so far, and I think Ms. Hansen did a fantastic job portraying the issues of living with a loved one with mental illness. My heart broke over and over for Eliot, and I fell in love with him just as easily as Loren did. If you enjoy your stories with a little more emotional umpf and heavy issues, definitely give this one a try.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*