Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Saving Noah
Author: T.S. McKinney
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 348 Pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 1, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Noah tries to do the right thing—protect the innocent and make the evil pay for their sins. But instead of saving the world, he loses himself. After testifying against one of the biggest crime bosses in the country, Noah’s fear of retribution leads to a serious case of agoraphobia. There isn’t much in Noah’s safe zone that calms his nerves… well, except for his short interactions with his surly but hot new neighbor.
Life crushed Dr. Zachary Meadows’s rose-colored glasses years ago. He makes amends for the deeds of others—and for his failure to protect those in need—by saving as many lives as he can as an ER physician. After early betrayals, he purposefully keeps his circle small. Until he meets his odd new neighbor and unwanted desires cause him to act like a jerk.
When two survivors collide—one desperate for love and one afraid of it—sparks fly. But just as Zachary and Noah begin to heal one another, the past returns…with a vengeance.
One. Two. I’ve decided to come for you.
Three. Four. It won’t help Scaredy Cat to lock his door.
Five. Six. You committed a sin you can’t fix.
Seven. Eight. I’ve picked the date.
Nine. Ten. No one will ever see you again.
Review: The blurb to this story lured me right in, and as I have enjoyed Ms. McKinney in the past, I didn’t hesitate to give it a go. Noah is 3 years into witness protection after providing evidence against the head of a mafia family. Unfortunately, his fears have caused him to become agoraphobic to the point where he can barely leave his apartment. He does manage to utilize the complex’ gym, but that’s about it. Zach is Noah’s neighbor, who is not happy that Noah has caught his eye and therefore treats him like crap. Zach also thinks Noah is a prostitute since he only sees guys going to and from his apartment. After an episode lands Noah in Zach’s emergency room, they eventually get past that as things are made clearer.
There are quite a few things that don’t add up though, and Zach, sensing some things are not right (Noah’s basket of medications and his supposed FBI liaison throwing off some really bad vibes) have him stepping in to help. He makes it his mission to help Noah get over his phobia. Understandably, Noah falls for Zach, but Zach is adamant that he is incapable of returning that love (something which drove me a little crazy). Zach grew up the son of the leader of a biker gang. Hating everything that entailed, he got out, but not before sending his father and other members of the club to prison. He turned his life around and became a doctor, but the past is still front and center for him.
There were a few contradictions that kept pulling me from this story. First, it was hard to picture Zach as an actual physician, and his frequent self-loathing and excuses for lack of ability to love felt a little much at times. He also very quickly turned to using the term “Babe” which felt awkward in its frequency. I did love how Zach found ways to gently push Noah out of his comfort zone and to better handle his panic attacks. Noah, on the other hand, was a total sweetheart. He was a victim first of the mafia family, then the FBI, and even more so of himself.
I think the issue for me was that there were too many things going on that didn’t totally mesh or were not seen through, and the tying in of everything made this feel a little longer than it needed to be. Everything does get wrapped up in the end, but some of it felt a little over the top for me. However, there was a lot to love as well, such as the chemistry between Noah and Zach, the banter between Zach and his bestie, Conner (who definitely needs his own book!), the lovable new-mom and police dog reject who ends up saving the day, and a few other things as well. Though this didn’t blow me out of the water, it was still very enjoyable and kept my interest through to the end. I definitely recommend checking this author out if you haven’t done so already. I continue to look forward to whatever she cooks up next. 🙂
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*