Title: Where Nerves End (A Tucker Springs Novel)
Author: L.A. Witt
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Buy Link: Buy Link Where Nerves End
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Length: Novel (180 pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: After hiding his own desires even to himself, a man is drawn out of his self-imposed closet by a new roommate who finds both physical and emotional healing in his touch.
Blurb: Welcome to Tucker Springs, Colorado. Population, 70-something-thousand. Home to beautiful mountain views, two respected universities, and a ridiculously high cost of living. Jason Davis can handle a breakup. And an overwhelming mortgage. And a struggling business. And the excruciating pain that keeps him up at night, thanks to a shoulder injury. But handling all of it at once? No, not so much. When his shoulder finally pushes him to a breaking point, Jason takes a friend’s advice and gives acupuncture a try. Acupuncturist Michael Whitman is a single dad struggling to make ends meet. When a mutual friend refers Jason as a patient, and Jason suggests a roommate arrangement to alleviate their respective financial strains, Michael jumps at the opportunity. But for Jason, living together would be easy if he wasn’t so damned attracted to Michael. The temptation to act on his feelings might just be too much if not for the fact that Michael is straight. Or at least, that’s what their mutual friend claims…
Review: This was my first foray into the imaginative writings of L.A. Witt and I truly enjoyed my time with her. Her storytelling is rich with visual pictures that leap off the page and put you firmly in the scene. Her characters are so natural, so down to earth and the town of Tucker Springs could be your own hometown, it is so familiar.
Along the way there were a few glitches in the writing that left me a bit confused, but I will get to those in just a moment. First, let me introduce you to her men, Jason and Michael and tell you just a bit of their story.
Jason clings onto a business that is deep in debt, and a house that is the very definition of a money pit due to its massive mortgage. He has been abandoned by his life partner and lived through the suicide of his business partner. In the interim he has injured his shoulder to the point where he cannot live without taking increasing doses of pain killers, which he fears becoming addicted to every time he breaks down and takes one.
His friend recommends an acupuncturist who has helped him immensely. Jason, believing that this type of therapy is a load of bunk, reluctantly sets up an appointment. Enter Michael Whitman and the beginning of a lust that eventually lights up the page and blossoms into something just a bit more.
Michael has hidden himself so deeply in the closet that it is not until the constant attention of his new roommate Jason that he realizes the fact he has been trying to escape from all his life is real…he is gay. Previously married and now divorced and with a son, Michael is determined to resist the feelings he has for Jason, but he simply cannot.
“With you, that was the first time I’ve ever let my guard down completely and let myself be what I’ve pretended not to be for so many years.”
And so begins their relationship…one that would eventually lead to Michael telling both his son and his ex-wife the truth…in a scene that was…well heartwarming to say the least.
But, while the story was good–great really, with solid believable dialogue and a realistic glimpse at how two men try to fight their attraction to one another until they can no longer hide their love, there were some problems as well.
While interesting, I felt the description of the acupuncture process to be too involved and rather repetitive. After the first two times of hearing it described, I felt the remaining examples really didn’t turn over new ground–even when a different technique was introduced I found myself wanting it to be over–it kept pulling me from the story rather than adding to it.
And then there was this:
“How do you think she’ll take it?” “I don’t know.”…”She adores Seth, but I’m not sure how she’d feel about Dylan living with Seth. Or with me, for that…”
Then 2 pages later there was this:
“I keep going back and forth, thinking she’ll flip and thinking she’ll be fine. If I was just a friend, she’d probably be okay with it. She adores Seth…”
Did you catch that? “She adores Seth”–repeated? No, I’m not nitpicking–this actually happened frequently–the same thought-repeated a few pages later–the conversation rehashed again. I began to notice a pattern of sorts and it left me scratching my head–wasn’t once enough?
Yes, there were flaws here–but seriously? The story was really good–I LOVED these guys–was cheering them on and so glad that the ending at least came close to a happy ever after for them.
So, I gave Where Nerves End four stars and I also determined that I would definitely read this author again. She is well worth it–her storytelling is really grade A stuff and aside from those few annoyances, Ms. Witt did not leave this reviewer wanting in the least.
But, as usual, I leave it up to you, dear reader. Pick up a copy of Where Nerves End–I think you will thank yourself in the end.