Title: A Little Too Broken
Author: Brad Vance
Publisher: Brad Vance Erotica
Characters: Jamie McAllister and Tom Nolan
POV: Third Person
Sub-Genre: contemporary, first time
When Jamie walks through the door of the Humane Society, it’s not just an animal who needs rescuing that day. Tom is there to adopt another service dog into the Canine Comrade Corps, but it’s Jamie his heart goes out to. But each man turns away, walks away, from the potential pain, the rejection, the knowledge that it’ll all end in tears…
Jamie knows damn well that the HIV he contracted from an unfaithful lover has put him out of the dating game forever in the small town of Santa Vera. Tom lost his legs in Afghanistan, and got new ones, yeah, but with a side order of PTSD to go, he thought grimly. The real problem is that only now does he realize he’s gay, now that the revelation would be just one too many things to put his family through, after everything else they’ve had to deal with.
So both men grin and bear the loneliness, put their feelings on a shelf, even as Jamie’s volunteer stint at CCC turns into friendship and, despite their resolve, something more…
In this novella, Jamie McAllistar and Tom Nolan have been dealt a rough hand in the deck of life. Still, they are trying to move on with life – Jamie, who works for an AIDS Care Clinic is HIV positive and Tom, who is in charge of the Canine Comrade Center, lost his legs in Afghanistan and has PTSD. The two meet at the Human Society where after talking with Tom, Jamie decides to volunteer his Saturdays at the Center doing paperwork.
Both men are incredibly lonely – and although there is an attraction, they hesitate to reach out, each afraid the other would be turned off by their disability. As a friendship grows, a romance slowly blossoms. They accept themselves and the love they have, but what about Tom’s close knit family?
The author, Brad Vance, is new to me. I applaud the way he handled the delicate subject manner. He did a wonderful job delivering important information like all the garbage returning Veterans have to go through, what little our government does for our vets, and the health insurance problem that people who are HIV Positive have – without getting too preachy. The issue with PTSD was spot on as well as the isolation and loneliness one goes through when surviving a life-changing situation.
The author breathed life into these characters. We know their desperation, their hopes and their regrets. To watch this relationship grow and develop, despite each one’s baggage, was realistic and touching. The plot was interesting and not predictable. The dialog was real – I could actually hear the characters use the slang and the one liner zings.
Despite awkward scene changes (no little ‘**’ to alert the reader) and the occasional head-hopping within a scene, this novella was an absolute joy to read. I’ve already recommended it to several of my friends.
It is my hope to read more by Brad Vance.
Reviewed By: Dawn