Erryn reviews ‘Love’s Magic (Revolutionary Heart Book 1)’ by Janice Jarrell. The ebook was released by the author on May 8, 2018 and is 257 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Walker Williams, released on June 17, 2019 and is 9 hrs and 11 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for honest reviews.
Why I read this book: I wanted to try something new.
Nate is a professor at the university, content with his life, his job, and his partner David. But when he jumps in to defend a student under attack and is injured himself, Nate becomes a leader in the campus movement to end sexual assault. When David doesn’t understand his militant reaction, Nate feels abandoned and betrayed, and begins to question their relationship.
David’s love for Nate is deep and true, but he can’t support Nate’s confrontational stance, fearing that the consequences will destroy his career. Forced to choose between his love for Nate and his own sense of what’s right, David feels trapped in a hopeless impasse.
Colin, an Irish Sergeant in the campus police force, is a legend on campus. A fierce protector of assault victims, he is merciless in pursuit of their assailants. When he meets Joshua, a Title IX consultant, sparks fly, and their relationship quickly becomes passionate.
Joshua wants more from Colin, much more, but Colin clings to his independence, fighting against his feelings for the soft-spoken psychologist. When Colin’s past comes back to haunt him, an explosive quarrel sends Joshua home without a word. Will Colin care enough to seek him out?
It would take a miracle to resolve these issues and bring these men together.
Love’s Magic is a gay romance featuring two couples, who will both find their HEA.
I wish this book wasn’t so relevant, but it is. Although crime is at its lowest level in years, it does still exist. Violence still takes place in our world. And college campuses are not immune. Women get drunk and then assaulted. Men can get gang raped for being too ‘gay’. People can get mugged. The high-profile incident earlier this month is proof no one is guaranteed safety and security.
This book takes place with the backdrop of campus violence. Each man in the story has a distinct role to play. Colin is the cop. He’s blunt, honest, and wants perpetrators prosecuted. He sees things as black and white. Joshua, a Title IX consultant, works in the gray areas. His job is to ensure students are treated fairly. It’s a job I’d never heard of. (Although being Canadian definitely has something to do with that. I guess our student liaisons would be an equivalent.)
Nate is the young professor who intervenes during an assault on a young woman and himself becomes a victim. No longer willing to hide in the shadows, he becomes a leader in the movement to end violence on campus. A crusader to get the college administration to pay attention to what is going on and to be proactive rather than reactive. David is his partner and he worries about Nate. He sees pitfalls in being branded a troublemaker. His cautionary stance is a point of friction between the two men.
So two couples. One clearly established and one that’s just beginning. With the reality of violence in their shared community, things are bound to get complicated.
I really enjoyed this book. Something about the characters compelled me. The men drew me in to their struggles. I have to say I related to Nate the most and Colin the least, but I suspect that was how the author intended it. Or maybe not. Each reader will have their own reaction. I will say I was annoyed it took Colin so long to get his head on straight. At least once he did, he was all in.
Walker Williams is a narrator I enjoy and this book was a challenge. There is a lot of head hopping – changing of point of view – even within scenes. It can be tough for a narrator to change so abruptly and bring the listener along with them. Also, in print books, scene changes are denoted with double line spaces. In an audiobook, we count on the narrator to give that break. They weren’t always there and sometimes it took me a moment to realize we were in a new scene. Was it a little annoying? Yes. Did it detract from the book? No. All that being said, I can strongly recommend this book as it is topical and important. Oh, and two great love stories.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
My name is Jan Jarrell. I am a retired grandmother who lives in Seattle, WA. I’ve been writing gay romance since I was twelve years old, only back then it wasn’t called ‘gay romance’. In fact, it had no name at all. It was the fifty’s, and it was worth your life to admit to being gay, let alone confess to being a girl who constantly fantasized about relationships between gay men. Hell, I didn’t even know what a homosexual was. I lived on a farm out in the sticks in a tiny Michigan village and I’d never, to my knowledge, even heard the word. I just knew I loved the thought of boy on boy romance. I just knew that there was something hot going on between Tom Corbett and his Space Cadets and all those guys on ‘Combat’.
I wrote slash fanfiction for 30 years, writing over 337 stories, some as short as 100 words (a drabble) some as long as a series which was over 119,012 words. I enjoy writing my stories. I enjoyed the feedback I received from my readers. It was a creative release I’d been searching for my entire life and I blessed the Internet for leading me to this artistic oasis for my spirit.
Love’s Magic was my very first step into writing my own characters. I will always be grateful the slash fanfiction community for nurturing the budding author until she was ready to blossom into a fully realized novelist. It’s been an amazing thing to watch the gay community’s growth over these past twenty years. My own journey has echoed theirs in many ways, and I’m grateful to all those gay activists who fought to give the gay community the rights and privileges they always deserved.
I’m also grateful to the gay romance community, readers, authors, publishers and promoters, who are making these, my retirement years, the most creative ones of my life.