Erryn reviews ‘Love’s Trials (Revolutionary Heart Book 2)’ by Janice Jarrell. The ebook was released by the author on October 12, 2018 and is 287 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Walker Williams, released on January 28, 2020 and is 9 hrs and 24 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for honest reviews.
Why I read this book: I loved book one and wanted to get caught up with the characters.
Colin and Joshua faced the most harrowing ordeal of their lives with love and courage. Believing they’d survived their trial, they looked forward to a future filled with happiness, only to discover that the worst was yet to come. Sometimes, surviving is the toughest trial of all.
When you face the worst that can be faced and emerge from your ordeal with your life and love still intact, it’s natural to breathe a sigh of relief and thank god that your suffering is behind you. But the aftermath of Colin and Joshua’s ordeal presented them with challenges deadlier to their relationship than death itself.
For a powerful, athletic alpha male, being unable to even go to the bathroom without help is a crushing blow. Pride and ego combine to do what a bullet could not – destroy the relationship that Colin and Joshua share and that they both cherish.
For a trained psychologist like Joshua, dealing with the emotional aftermath of his partner’s injuries should have been second nature. But memories of his own abused and neglected childhood rose to the surface with frightening force, shattering his ability to confront their issues in a healthy manner.
They didn’t want it to be that way. Both of them knew they were wrong in how they were handling the pain of Colin’s recovery. Colin hid behind his colossal pride. Humiliated by his infirmity and too proud to admit that he needed help and comfort, he hid his feelings behind a mask. While fearful of Colin’s rejection and ultimate abandonment, Joshua hid in his room, unable to confront his partner and demand that they both get the help they needed.
The toughest trials are those that pit you against yourself. Colin and Josh must find their best, truest selves if they are to save the love they cherish and find the healing they seek in each other’s arms.
This is a story of love’s trials and its ultimate triumphs.
This is the second book in the Revolutionary Heart series. In the first, Love’s Magic, Colin and Joshua meet and find the magic that binds their souls together. But the magic that bound their hearts together couldn’t save them from the trial that shattered their world. This book will break your heart, then mend it again. The passion is hot, and the love is unquenchable. Walk with Colin and Joshua as they journey through their dark night of the soul to their ultimate happily ever after.
Please note: This book can be listened to as a stand-alone, but it will have more meaning if you’ve also read or listened to Love’s Magic, which is where their relationship begins.
I loved Love’s Magic and was happy to hear Love’s Trials was coming out on audio. Needless to say, I snapped it up. In the first book I always felt Colin and Joshua were the secondary couple. They were given as much time as David and Nathan, but because they were introduced second, I never quite connected with them the same way. Fortunately I got a second chance to get to know them in this book.
In the first book, when I realized the book was set in Charlottesville, my immediate thought was the violent and deadly Unite the Right march. When it wasn’t mentioned in the book, I wondered if perhaps the book had been written before the rally, or if it wasn’t going to be an issue. Those questions were answered in this second book where the march does come up. Colin is an Irish cop. Since his sister’s death, he’s wanted to be a cop so he can ensure the guilty are punished. As a campus police officer, he’s straddling the line between caring for victims and nabbing perpetrators. In the last book the focus was on assault, specifically sexual assault. This book digs into drugs and their very real impact on campuses.
Between the rally and his work trying to take down a drug kingpin, Colin is busy. Joshua is understanding, though. He’s got his own counselling practice and he’s completely supportive of Colin’s career choice.
Until everything goes horribly wrong.
Man, this book made my heart hurt. When Colin was shot, I was stunned and was gripped by the worry for his safety. He survived, but the recovery takes up a lot of space in this book and I liked that. This is the story of what happens after the crisis. What life looks like when the attention and spotlight are gone. How two people fix what has been so badly broken.
Now, these are two intelligent men. Both can see that Colin’s injury is serious and life-altering. As a counselor, Joshua knows all the signs to watch out for and yet, when the rubber hits the road, he gives up. He acquiesces to Colin and let Colin run roughshod over him. And Colin knows what he’s doing is destructive and wrong, but he’s so obsessed with getting back to where he was that he doesn’t realize he’s going to lose the most important thing in his life.
Man, I wanted to knock their heads together to see if any sense could be shaken loose. And yet as frustrated as I was, I recognized that this was real life. Tragedy can either bring people together or it can tear them apart. I knew which one I preferred but I wasn’t convinced I would get my way. In the end, though, I got my happy ending.
The turbulence of emotion that I was put through is, to me, the sign of a good book. Make me work for it and I’m all in. This author weaves a compelling tale with very simple story lines chocked full of emotional highs and lows. In other words, a great book.
Walker Williams was back narrating this book and I thought he did a great job. Especially portraying Colin in the aftermath of the march. The emotion was palpable, as was the hoarse voice. He brought depth to both of the men and, of course, it was nice to see David and Nate together and happily married. I love series and this one certainly has my rapt attention.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 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.