Dana reviews A Mended Man by Jaime Reese.(Published by Romandeavor, Inc. April 28, 2016, 382 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To read Dana’s review of A Better Man click here. To read Wendy’s review of A Better Man click here. To read Dana’s review of A Hunted man click here. To read Dana’s review of A Restored Man click here.
Detective Aidan Calloway is rock-solid strong. He’s a man of justice—loyal to his friends, family, and job—even if it requires bending a law…or two. He shields himself behind an abrasive, fearless facade, until a phone call one night chips his armor and throws his perfectly planned, hollow life into a tailspin.
Jessie Vega is the epitome of optimism. His carefully crafted attitude of hope and positivity protects him from a past filled with too much pain. When a ghost from a dark time resurfaces and nearly breaks him, he must tap into his inner strength or risk losing everything he’s worked so hard to build.
But Jessie can’t do it alone. He must fight to break through Aidan’s ironclad defenses to reveal the heart of the man hiding beneath the tough surface and mend his damaged spirit. Only then can they truly heal and become strong enough to battle the demons that haunt them and threaten their chance to finally be together.
***This book contains scenes and subject matter some readers may find distressing.***
Although part of a series, this book can be read as a stand-alone.
“A beautiful story of love making you whole again!” – Bike Book Reviews
“Heartbreakingly beautiful” – Amazon Customer Review
“As always the wait was worth it and Jaime delivers yet another stunning but very different book.” – Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews
First – I want to say “thank you” for taking the time to interview me and for all the readers who are stopping by!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer and what drew you to the m/m genre?
The funny thing is, I never saw myself as a writer. Yet, when I was a teenager, I actually wrote several stories. Nothing I expected to publish or to ever see the light of day. Thinking back, I realize it must have been something always there in the back of my mind. But I never explored it until A Better Man.
I was first drawn to the m/m genre by a secondary character in a M/F series I read. I was more interested in his story than the main characters. 🙂
Do you have a preference between writing and your work as an artist?
They are creative outlets for me and I love both the writing and the art for different reasons. I’m incredibly thankful I can do both.
What was your inspiration for the Men of Halfway House series?
We’re human. With that, comes the innate ability to make mistakes. I’ve got a soft spot for broken, misunderstood heroes, and I believe everyone deserves a chance at love and life. I thought the halfway house setting was a great place for a second chance.
The men in this series have been dealt a crappy hand in life for one reason or another, whether by their own doing or as a result of circumstance. Usually, one of the characters will be a resident. In Aidan & Jessie’s case, the house was the reason their paths crossed. So it made sense (to me) to have their story as part of the series. In their story, they are given that second chance they crave to do things differently. Sadly, it will never come easy to them for one reason or another. But in the end, they’ll fight for it and cherish their second chance at love and life.
Do you have a favorite couple in the series?
Now you’re just trying to get me in trouble. LOL I love them all for very different reasons and the unconditional love between their pairings.
Which character is most like you?
Oh my. This is tough. There’s a little of me in many of the characters but I try not to write one character that is too much like me. I’m not as exciting as they are. LOL
What are your plans for future books in this series? Have we met any future characters in the first four books?
Yes. The next book will be Drayton’s story. He was first introduced in book 3, A Restored Man. He’s mentioned (but doesn’t appear) in A Mended Man. In that same story, the reader is briefly introduced to his partner.
Will we see any weddings in the future?
A Mended Man seems to be the darkest book so far. Did you know Aidan’s backstory when you first introduced him or did you create it after A Restored Man?
Aidan & Jessie both came to me with their backstories. I tried to fight it and make changes, but the story stalled. This book haunted me for quite some time. I actually wrote the prologue to A Mended Man before I wrote a single word of A Restored Man. I had to set it aside because I couldn’t write another word once their backstories became crystal clear. When it came time to write Aidan & Jessie’s story, I tried to change their history to remove some of the darkness, but nothing worked. I ended up deleting about 60K words and went back to the drawing board to start from scratch several times. I almost gave up writing it until I finally gave in and wrote it the way it was supposed to be written. Let’s just say…Aidan was insistent. Hence, the dedication in the book. Characters do speak to authors, and some even command attention. It pained me to write it but I did. It’s their story.
Do you have any books in planning that are not part of the Men of Halfway House series?
I have one book I’ve started (a stand alone), with the plan that it be a shorter book. Suddenly, the storyline started developing in my mind as I wrote it and it seemed to grow more than I had anticipated. So I stopped and set it aside. However, I have every intention of picking it up again and finishing it.
I’m also toying with another story I’ve had circling in my mind for some time. I have no idea if I’m ever going to write it, but it’s been pushing me quite a bit. I probably won’t make any announcements until it’s completely written and well into edits and it won’t appear on my Coming Soon page until I’ve actually started it and I’m well into it. It’s something I want to do, but if I can’t do it justice, I probably won’t release it. And yes, I know that’s extremely vague. 🙂
Thank you for your time and this wonderful series. 🙂
Thank YOU for taking the time to read the stories and for spending some time with my guys. ❤
Let me start with the cover. Like the rest of the covers in this series, it is gorgeous. The man is Aidan and though the description of the tattoo is in the book, the picture really helped me wrap my mind around the image. The title A Mended Man is great. What I like about all the titles of the series is that they pertain to both of the main characters of each book, usually in different ways. It is always neat to make the connection of how it applies. In this book, Jessie has to physically mend after being attacked, and Aidan’s mending is a long time coming, and it’s more mental for him, and could also refer to his relationship with his brother. Like I said, the titles have several meanings.
After reading and reviewing the first three books of this series for this site, I was so excited we were able to get a spot on this tour. Aidan and Jessie were both introduced in the second book, A Hunted Man, when they were both working on a case with Hunter, one of the mc’s of that book. They appeared again in book three, A Restored Man, when Aidan’s brother falls for a resident of the halfway house the series is named for. This is the first book where neither character is a resident of the house, but there are plenty of ties between all the characters at this point and they all make appearances in this book. Because each book is about different couples, they could technically be read as stand-alones, but there are continuing themes and cases so I’d recommend the series be read in order.
This story starts with Jessie’s attack and Aidan’ being called out to the crime scene. Aidan has always come across as too serious and sometimes cold in the previous books to me, but he definitely has a soft spot for Jessie. Jessie is a sweet and optimistic character even though he has been through some bad times with his father and an ex, though I hesitate to use that word. He does show signs of nervousness but other than that, he is a man who perseveres. I love Jessie and when Aidan is with him, I love him too.
Mystery is a big part of this book. From Hunter’s part working on a task force to solve cold cases, finding a way to free his friends Hunter and Cam from witness protection, and catching Jessie’s attacker, the story is not short on action and crime drama. I’m a big fan of LGBT mysteries so the story line was excellent. I’m an even bigger fan of romance so the mix of the two made this a perfect read for me. There is very little sex on page and I think that has a lot to do with both characters paths towards being mended. I didn’t miss it, to be honest.
I loved all the side characters of this book, excluding the bad guys. Aidan and Jessie have made friends with the owners of the halfway house, Matt and Julian. Julian is a bit more present in the book than Matt. The same goes for Hunter who worked with both main characters of this book. He shows up even when he shouldn’t because of his witness protection without his boyfriend Cam, but both are there for the end of the book. Aidan’s brother Ty is present, but is his quiet self. Both brothers have held a bit of themselves back from each other, but they go a long way in this book to getting back the friendship they had when they were young. Cole who is Ty’s boyfriend and a thorn in Aidan’s side is also in this book a lot, and I’m glad for that, because he is a funny, sarcastic, and will point out the obvious when others struggle to see what’s in front of their faces. He definitely helps Aidan and Jessie move forward even though his advice isn’t always welcome. The task force that Aidan is a part of is the cherry on top. They aren’t great friends when they start off, but as they work together they form their own bonds with Aidan and Jessie.
This book and series have so much going for them. Every character shows so much growth and strength. I look forward to any future books in the series and highly recommend the first four..
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
A Better Man
A Hunted Man
A Restored Man
A Mended Man
…More to come…