Marc reviews ‘Submerged’ (Home #1) by Susan Reeves. The book is a contemporary M/M Romance story and was published by the author on February 18th, 2017. It is about 177 pages long.
Why I read this book: This book was chosen for me by our readers on RGR in a poll. I hadn’t read a book by this author before and was curious after reading the blurb. After reading the book, I can happily say that our readers chose well!
Blurb: Sometimes, to make it back to shore, you need to take the hand that’s offered.
Jared Simpson had his feet swept out from under him, and eventually found himself living on the streets. When Gavin Wells and his daughter come into Jared’s life, he’s fighting to keep going, struggling to keep swimming towards something that will let him stand tall and steady again.
Gavin Wells is fighting his own battles: in-laws, bureaucracy, and the guilt that overwhelms him every time he closes his eyes to sleep. He now has a new challenge to face: his sexuality. He’s attracted to someone for the first time in months, and not only is that person a man, but he’s homeless, with the potential to derail Gavin’s already complicated life.
But fate has brought these two men together. If they can hold tight to each other, they can weather the storm, and find their way home to become a family.
Sometimes two people find each other and just click, even if it does not make sense to them at first and outside forces try to pull them apart. Jared and Gavin’s journey to their happy end is not an easy one.
When we meet Gavin, his grief and guilt over the death of his wife seems to be drowning him. The author spends a lot of time to show readers how Gavin feels. He stopped living, is just functioning for his baby daughter. His grief keeps pulling him under. He is still sleeping on the luxury mattress he and his wife bought, the mattress his wife died on. He is low on cash and believes he has failed his wife in not making her happy enough to escape her depression.
Then, while shopping for groceries, he helps out a man who seems to be homeless, for no other reason than to help him out and because he can. He does not have much money himself, but he has way more than the man and he has a safety net. After that act of kindness, he feels a connection to the man and finds him again and again on the streets to help him, even when he does not get thanked for his intervention. But the man, Jared, does seem to use and appreciate the gifts.
It was very interesting to watch Gavin suddenly ‘see’ the homeless people on the streets and their struggle to survive. It helps him to shift the focus away from his own sadness as he tries to help where he can and he starts to join life again. When Jared becomes very sick, though, he decides to help him, even when it could be dangerous for himself and might bring trouble to his doorstep.
That is the setup for this love story, as both men feel attraction toward each other and are drawn together. It could even be a very interesting story on its own, but it is just the beginning for this book. There is so much more that happens, so many different obstacles that need to be overcome, so many struggles for the two men before they can find happiness. At times it felt a bit much for me, because the poor men never got the chance to breathe. However, sometimes when there is one problem, a lot of other problems tend to follow. The story never gets boring and the men REALLY earn their HEA.
I loved that the story made me aware of my own priviledges. I see my self as open-minded person and I try not to be prejudiced, but it is easy not to realize how much of a safety net many people have. I have a family who would help me if I need it and who were able to support me through school. I live in a country where university is free and that in additin to support by my parents made university easily obtainable for me. I would not have much trouble to find jobs and I could always return home to my parents if needed. It was scary to realize how fast Jared fell through the cracks of the public safety net and without good family support came close to death.
This book tugged on my heart-strings, made me think, made me feel for the wonderful characters and the family they create and I loved their courage to give love a chance and fight through all the difficulties that created for them. It is a wonderful book and I am happy that I got to read it and discovered this wonderful author.
8.5/10 Pots of Gold (85% Recommended) – Compares to 4.25/5 Stars
Susan Reeves is a lifelong avid reader who has had a fairly interesting life so far and has some stories of her own that she wanted to share. She lives in the most beautiful place in the world, in her opinion, and you’ll find glimpses throughout her stories as she loves to share it with her readers.
Susan also loves to potter around the kitchen, walk along the healing sands of her local beaches, and have coffee therapy with friends.
An advocate for equality, living simply and all things green, Susan spends any spare time spreading light and love in hope that it touches those who might need a little.