Book Review: Defenseless by A.J. Rose

Reviewed by JustJen

31426770Title: Defenseless
Author: A.J. Rose
Heroes: Kyle Decker/Jesse McGovern
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 438 Pages
Publisher: The Grim Writer Press
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  Kyle Decker knew dating Jesse McGovern would change his life. Young and in love, and with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, the world is theirs to conquer.

But their victorious Pride celebration ends in a savage attack, brutally demonstrating they’re far from equal. Instead of wedding planning, Jesse and Kyle face an arduous recovery and a shattered sense of their place in the world, their once-promising future suddenly something to survive.

While Jesse struggles with a permanent injury and its emotional aftermath, Kyle’s single-minded focus on Jesse’s recovery is the only thing keeping his demons at bay…for now. What was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love is now full of lies and resentment.

With their dreams tattered and forever changed, trusting anyone—even each other—is daunting. So how can they have faith in twelve strangers on a jury? They’ve already learned the hard way it only takes a moment to become truly defenseless.


Review: This was one tragic, yet beautiful and captivating story! I was in love with Kyle and Jesse from the start. I loved watching them in love, celebrating being together, planning their future, enjoying Pride and the marriage legality. I wanted to be right there with them experiencing it all and celebrating with them. It was infectious. Until it wasn’t.

I will never understand how anyone can physically hurt another human being such as what happens to Kyle and Jesse, and I’m flabberghasted and sickened every time I hear about it in real life. Getting an inside glimpse on someone who experienced it and the ensuing aftermath that that affects their life was just as painful and heartbreaking. Good and bad, nothing in this story felt made up or unbelievable.

But, more about Kyle and Jesse. Though we get to see the joy of their lives beforehand, and everything following, it is that aftermath that took over this story for me. Jesse was the more injured of the two and Kyle was right there by his side through it all. It was so hard to watch them struggling so much even if it was expected. They both experienced the attack but are having to deal with fallout in different ways. The physical healing was just a small piece to their new puzzle. This was something that was truly dividing them when before nothing really had.

Jesse has the help of a wonderful family and friends, but Kyle doesn’t have many other friends and is dealing with his recent coming out to his parents about his bisexuality who don’t take it that well, with the exception of his brother, Bobby. I absolutely loved how they went from typical brothers who got along but bickered and tolerated each other to Bobby being the number one supporter. He was one of my favorite side characters without a doubt. Jesse’s friends/frat brothers were amazing, and I loved his completely loving and supporting family as well.

The love these guys share bleeds off the page, but as everything else overwhelms them, their relationship suffers. There is a lot going on here, between the physical and mental healing, the adjustments they needed to make to their lives and dealing with first finding their attackers and then the ensuing trial, not to mention the family issues, they have a lot on their plates. As horrible as that all seems, trust me when I say that it is worth it to follow them to the end.

For me, a book that truly captivates me, even though the content may be cringeworthy at times, keeps me engaged, revs up my emotions and has me focused on turning pages, is a true sign of a well written book. It was an amazingly beautiful story of love, tragedy, second chances and rising like a phoenix from the ashes to find that love again, and I’m so glad I took a chance on it. Highly recommended.

Overall Impression: It was amazing!

*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*

Categories: 5 Star Ratings, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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