Author Name & Publisher: Jamie Fessenden (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: August 7, 2015 – 273 pgs
Derek Sawyer thinks he has it all—a high-salaried position, a boyfriend, a dog, even a new cabin on the lake—until a business trip with his manager and best friend, Victor, shatters his world.
One night of drunken horsing around in their hotel room leads to the most intensely personal violation Derek has ever endured. As if the humiliation of working under his attacker every day isn’t enough, Victor reports Derek for sexual harassment. Now he’s without a job, without a boyfriend, and the mortgage on the cabin is due.
Officer Russ Thomas has worked with rape victims before, and it doesn’t take him long to sort out the truth in Derek’s tale. With his support, Derek finally reports the crime, months after it happened. But restraining orders and lawyers further Victor’s anger toward him, and even though a relationship develops between Derek and the policeman, Russ can’t be there to protect him all the time.
Trigger Warning: Rape
This was a wonderful story about overcoming life’s bumps in the road and allowing yourself to be happy.
Derek and Tim were the couple that everyone thought was happy. They had been together for a while and had made the commitment to buy a cabin together. Then, in walks their yummy neighbor, Russ and his awesome dog.
The story takes on a somewhat darker feeling when Derek is violated in one of the worst ways possible. I wanted to chop Tim to pieces when he reacted the way he did. Not only was he unfeeling, uncaring and mean, he was also jealous and hurtful when the one person who should have been able to count on him needed him most. Needless to say I was happy when Tim and Derek were no longer an item.
Then, reading about Russ and his own struggles to find someone to share his life with – the all gay resort sounded like a lot of fun. I appreciated how realistic the experience was – nothing too out there to create more intrigue or mystery in the story. Just an honest experience.
When Russ realizes that Derek is suffering, he steps in to not only be there for him, but to help him with all the legalities.
I really liked the mystery or plot aspect of this story – even if I knew what would eventually happen. I would definitely read more Fessenden books.
After nine years together, Jamie and Erich have married and purchased a house together in the wilds of Raymond, New Hampshire, where there are no street lights, turkeys and deer wander through their yard, and coyotes serenade them on a nightly basis. Jamie recently left his “day job” as a tech support analyst to be a full-time writer.