Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Arctic Restitution
Author: Lynn Kelling
Series: Arctic Absolution #3
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 80,000 words
Publisher: Forbidden Fiction Publishing
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: As he approaches his twenty-second birthday, the three-year anniversary of the brutal attack in an alley that nearly cost him his life in a few different ways, Jaye Larson thinks he’s left behind the ghosts from his years spent incarcerated, but when he’s delivered a mysterious letter with terrifying implications, old monsters rear their ugly heads. His normal new life in remote Zus, Alaska, with his lover, Dixon Rowe, the heart of a found-family that supports Jaye in ways he’s never before dreamed possible, is threatened by old deals and ties he begins to fear may never be broken. While old alliances strive to draw Jaye backward, Dixon and the rest of their family are called to step up to keep him steady. When the letter turns out to be just the first clue in a chain leading both Jaye and Dixon back inside the walls of the Federal Corrections Institute of Sheridan, Oregon, all of them are left facing carefully-held secrets and terrible new truths that refuse to be ignored.
Review: This is one intense and unique series that has kept me on the edge of my seat from the middle (Arctic Absolution) to the beginning (Caged Jaye) and now the end (Arctic Restitution). I absolutely love the way Jaye’s story has been told when we met him current day, then were brought back to the beginning and shown the horrific things he had to endure, to now this one back in the current day but a bit down the road from the original story.
It is approaching Jaye and Dixon’s one-year anniversary, and it is wonderful to see how far they have come and how close their relationship now is. They really are perfect for each other and it is easy to see how they have saved each other from their pasts. Unfortunately, those pasts, most especially for Jaye, are never far behind, and memories still (and probably always will to some extent) haunt him. But Dixon is there with neverending support and love.
Though Jaye has tried to forget as much as he can about his time at FCI Sheridan, the “relationships” he made while there are still somewhat intact. Sort of like, once in a gang, always in a gang. Now, Cash is making contact and has manipulated Jaye into repaying a favor – help Jinx/Tony survive on his release. Tony was the other young member of the gang and therefore, one of the “family.” When Jaye left, he was forced to basically take Jaye’s place in the scheme of things, and he has barely survived. He is now hanging on by a thread mentally with his hands having been crushed and rendered useless. Jaye goes through a major struggle with this one, but his duties to the gang override his reluctance.
There is so much emotional turmoil with all of this with Jaye in regards to what happened, who participated and coming to grips with his feelings about it all. Dixon is also struggling with wanting to keep Jaye safe but being unable to prevent things Jaye now feels he must do. Through it all, is the unwavering love between these two, as well as the rest of the characters who make up Jaye’s new family.
To say this is heartbreaking and emotional is putting is extremely lightly. I was blown away by the previous book, and this one brought all of that back. We are reminded of events as Dixon now learns more about what happened, and the feelings are just as strong as when I heard them the first time. I still want to wrap Jaye up in a big warm blanket and just hug the bejeezus out of him.
Ms. Kelling has finished this story off with the same gusto as the first two and they will be in my mind for a long time to come. I highly recommend you read these (in the order they were written) but cannot stress enough that the warnings be heeded – this series is not for the faint of heart, but it is well worth the pain and heartache when you finish.
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*