Author: J.P. Barnaby
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Little Boy Lost: Sacrificed
Genre: M/M contemporary romance
Length: 260 pages
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
A Guest review by Jenre
Summary review: Tears and joy abound in this satisfying end to what has been a fantastic series.
** There may be spoilers for previous books in the series in this review **
Reunited with his father but missing the one man he loves more than any other, Jamie Mayfield attempts to put his life back together amid rehab, seizures, and the gutting loneliness of Brian’s rejection. As he tries to cope, Jamie finds that relying on his friends isn’t nearly as difficult as he’d imagined, and soon he can once again stand on his own two feet.
While recovering from his addiction, Jamie starts a new phase of his life at college, working to become the man Brian needs him to be. Only one question remains: Can Jamie earn Brian’s forgiveness and win back his trust, or will their love be sacrificed at the altar of Jamie’s demons?
Brian and Jamie’s epic journey comes to a close in this thrilling conclusion to the Little Boy Lost series.
Well what a emotional ride this series has been! In some ways I’m sad that it’s all over, although my nerves probably tell a different story :). This final installation of the Little Boy Lost series is a book of two parts. The first had me in tears, the second gave me a lot of joy.
The book begins straight after the end of the last book. Jamie is recovering in his father’s home after his murder/suicide gone wrong leaves him with memory loss and severe epilepsy. He’s facing a tough time of rehab from the drugs, recovery from the effects that Warfarin has left in his brain and trying to get his life back together. To make matters worse, Jamie has been abandoned by Brian who doesn’t want to see him. Jamie is determined to get better and hopes to eventually win back Brian.
I’m so heavily invested in these characters now that I spent most of the first part of the book holding back tears for Jamie. He’s not been the easiest character to like because of the way he’s treated Brian, but this book sets about showing how much of Jamie’s situation isn’t really his fault. Jamie has been betrayed by his parents, abandoned to the streets, forced into porn and drugs, and now, when Jamie needs him, Brian has left him too. I don’t think I really appreciated before how much of a victim Jamie is, much more than Brian who chooses his path. The first part of the book focuses on Jamie’s recovery, with no sign of Brian at all, apart from a brief glimpse. These pages show the frustrations of life with epilepsy, and how tough it is to go through recovery. We only get Jamie’s first person point of view, and for a long time I puzzled as to why Brian should leave him now, after all they have been through. It’s only later that we learn the real reason, but I was annoyed at Brian for much of this first half. How could he profess to love Jamie and yet leave him at such a time? Sometimes I’ve had to stop and remind myself that these are just young men and that their heightened feelings are natural for their age. Brian’s actions may seem cruel to me as an older adult, but fit well with Brian who at nineteen is not used to dealing maturely with his feelings.
There is a bright side to Brian’s absence and that is that without Brian’s support Jamie learns to be independent, to achieve things on his own, and although his dad helps him a lot, Jamie is stronger for this, I think. He also has the friendship of the guys from the boarding house, and I liked seeing how they support him during this time. This first part made me really like Jamie for the first time in this series, and finally I could see why Brian loves him so much. It’s been interesting to see the development of these two characters through the series. Brian lost his innocence but retained his sweet nature. Jamie lost his sense of self and confidence, but regains them in this book. It was the recovery of his spirit which almost brought me to tears as much as the recovery of his mind and body.
The second half of the book focuses on bringing together all the different strands of the story. This meant that on the whole it was more uplifting than the previous half of the book, although still with a few anxious moments. I think for those who have stuck with these characters, it was necessary for things to be wrapped up tight, and I certainly needed to see these guys secure and happy at last. Having said that, there were some things, like the reappearance of Jamie’s mother or the resolution around Brian’s porn career, which could have been left out and still left the story complete in my eyes, although I can see how some readers may have needed that closure.
I finished the book with a huge smile on my face. These guys deserved a happy ending, after all they have been through in the last 6 books, and I was very pleased with their situation at the end. It’s not a perfect book, but I was so engrossed that I didn’t notice at the time some of the weaknesses. It’s only later that I wished that Jamie’s dad had been more fleshed out, or wondered why the theme of Jamie’s school career tailed away a little towards the end.
Overall, this book is a fantastic conclusion to a series which has been compulsive reading. It’s not an easy set of books to read with emotions running high for most of the story but it is a meaty, satisfying account of young love. Any issues I had were not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the book, and I can highly recommend this, and the whole series, to those readers looking for a well written and emotional story of love and loss, of fear and freedom, and of two men who will break your heart but leave you smiling at the end.