Title: Everything Changes
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Carey, Jase
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
What happens when friendship catches fire?
Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.
Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.
A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.
As soon as I read the blurb, I knew I wanted to read this story. Give me a military man and a best-friends-to-lovers romance and I’m in. Also, there was a Gay-For-You theme that always peaks my interest, so I was very anxious to read this book.
I wasn’t disappointed.
For one thing, I really liked the kinship and emotional connection these two heroes had for each other. I understood why they were friends and I equally understood why they were so important to each other. This was one of the stronger points in this story. I also really liked the intense attraction these two men had for each other. Their physical chemistry between them was very well-written and I really enjoyed reading how their relationship really evolved throughout the book.
Both heroes are flawed, but interesting and likeable people. Carey hasn’t had a lot of love in his life. Between a crappy family life and not many people he’s called a ‘true friend’, Jase really means a lot to him. Jase is the one who saved his life. Jase is the one who took care of him, has always been there for him and other than working with other veterans who suffer from similar problems as he does, Jase has been the one true staple in his life.
Carey has never identified himself as gay. Period. All of his relationships have been women. He’s never been attracted to men, but when it comes to his best friend, Jase, there is a slow boiling attraction to him that drives Carey with confusion.
On the other hand, Jase has always been in love with Carey. It’s a love that he’s kept secret and is willing to just be only friends with Carey, if this means he gets to keep Carey in his life. In some ways, Jase is always willing to give up everything for Carey…even a budding music career, just for his friend and the man he loves.
Who doesn’t love a devoted man like Jase? Let me tell you, I loved him. I thought he was an amazing person. I wanted him to be happy. I felt bad for him when Carey goes through some self-growth issues and pushes him aside. Jase is a selfless person and a good man.
I even liked Carey. Good man. Helps others. Definitely has a strong affection for Jase. There were times I wanted to bop him upside the head though…the man could be a little self-absorbed at times and it’s good for him that Jase has the patience of a saint.
There were a few slow moments in the book. Also, it there is a series of flashbacks told by both characters that made it an interesting read. I did enjoy the flashbacks because I thought they were important to the storyline, but there might be some readers that could be put off by this. I also really liked how Ms. Hansen seemed to have done her research on PTSD, as well as some of the issues our military heroes go through. She wasn’t afraid to for her characters to meet these issues head-on and as a reader, I really appreciated it.
Everything Changes is a fast-paced, sexy read between two men who finally allow their true feelings and attraction toward each other. It is a very solid, interesting storyline that will easily grip many readers attention.
Reviewed By: Gabbi
Link to Dreamspinner Press: HERE