Two guys who are physically damaged in different ways and therefore fighting the prejudices society hands them. This book gave me a different view on many things, for me it wasn't about the romance so much as more about dealing with everyday life when you have disabilities.
Tom is a war veteran from Afghanistan and loses both his legs during action and Jamie is HIV positive after one silly night we're he didn't take the necessary precautions and will now pay the price for the rest of his life. Both very different things, but also very similar in the way these guys have to cope with people's reactions. This was the part that made me feel so sorry for both of them which is exactly not what they wanted in probability, even if well meant. Therefore they have both given up on ever finding someone to love or having a relationship. I really liked the political views brought into the story along with the harsh reality of life. The military patching Tom up, discharging him and then "on your own buddy" the support network for such veterans needs a lot of attention. Jamie's situation is one more of "if you can afford the health insurance then everything is OK, if not - tough." Obamacare was mentioned several times and after reading this realised even more as a Brit / European guy, how desperately needed these reforms are. I felt my blood curdling with the anger, the hopelessness of the situation these guys are fighting. But they don't give up and keep the good work going. Very admirable.
They take comfort in their pets and Jamie is at a local animal rescue home looking for a suitable partner for his cat Jackson and literally bumps into Tom who is visiting with his dog Harry. Love at first sight? Is there such a thing well I like to think so, happened to me. You look at someone, there's a reaction you can't explain, but you know it's good but the problem is where do you take things from here? This is where the author very nicely lets you read the MCs thoughts. Another interesting aspect to this book. You get to really know and understand where these guys are coming from and why. Makes things a lot more realistic and understandable. For Tom the effects of PTSD is far worse than the physical disability. You are not aware of this until a certain part in the book, then the severe reality of this comes crashing home.
They are totally unsure of themselves their disabilities taking all their confidence away. This is totally normal but is exacerbated with Jamie and Tom constantly second guessing themselves and not believing that someone could be interested in them. Always used to people's reactions when they find out. Tom always wears long trousers to cover up his mechanical legs and obviously with HIV you don't know until someone is honest enough to tell you. They are so used to people turning away and making a run for it once they found out. So keep themselves very guarded as a means of emotional protection. However, the chemistry is a stringer pull. Here the author paces this out nicely and
Tom asks Jamie to help out at then animal rescue home to do the accounts on a volunteer basis and first they find a friendship, mutual understanding and a common ground due to their afflictions. It is a long way until they finally admit to themselves what is in front of their eyes and what their hormones are telling them. But it still takes a little intervention from to good friends, Ava whose Jamie's friend and Ed Toms's friend. I liked this aspect of good friends. Everyone needs someone to talk to but also give them a push when needed and this is exactly what these friends did. With a little advice and friendly cajoling make them both realise and wake up to the truth.
After they finally get their act together the last big obstacle is Tom having to tell his parents the revelation. He comes from a loving and close family and decides to keep his gayness a secret as not to upset them more. Thinking that they're conservative values would never let them except him being gay, as this was enough, but his boyfriend also being HIV positive. Well, the time comes where there's no way out if they wish to be happy together as a normal couple. One thanksgiving Tom takes Jamie with him and is determined to break the news to his parents and sister. Well, this part of the book was lovely and almost had me in tears. What happens? Well, Tom didn't need to say anything and the whole family turns the tables on him and Jamie. Really lovely. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens, but it was dealt with superbly and had me oohing and aahing for the rest of the evening - lol!
The interaction between these guys are good, although the plot in my opinion was a little thin, the main focus here really is about Tom and Jamie overcoming their obstacles and finding a love that they never believed they would ever be able to find again. The story took me a few chapter to get into, but there were some very nice moments in the story that made the wait worth it.
An enjoyable read which for me gets a solid 3.5 stars .