John came to town for an education and a chance at a life he couldn’t have on the reservation, but what’s important to him now is getting a job and keeping it. Six months ago, his sister died, and now her children are in foster care. Despite having the law on his side, John can’t get custody—can’t even see his niece and nephew.
As Jerry and John grow closer, John discovers he doesn’t have to struggle alone. Jerry helps him win visitation rights and provides much-needed support. Yet their victories aren’t without setbacks. Child Services is tangled up with money, politics, and red tape, and Native American children are their bread and butter. But John and Jerry are determined to fight the good fight and to win—in more ways than one.
Comment: This is a book I had scheduled to have been read last year. Somehow, I couldn't manage so for January I've decided to read some of those that were left behind despite my efforts to get them out of my TBR list. This is the first in a series but to be truthful, I don't think I'll read more.
In this book we meet Jerry Lincoln, a young man who's a computer expert and he works from home to several clients. Because he has so much to do, he decides to hire a co-worker and two men out of those who applied are perfect for the job. One of them, John Black Raven, a Native American makes him want for more than just computer help, but he can't say no to someone in need and who actually has the brain for it.
Hiring John is the beginning of a solid relationship and a fight to gain custody of John's nephew and niece in a battle against the system...
This book has some interesting elements and it's not badly written, clearly the author knows how to write, where to insert new elements, where to stress a feeling or downplaying a situation. The writing is fluid and easy and the romance has a cute side to bring a smile to a reader's face.
In my opinion, the story just isn't that thrilling and there are some plot choices and timelines I really felt weren't up to the way the story started, which was simple but precise.
In the beginning, Jerry is alone, we get to understand his family, very conservative, expelled him after he said he was gay and now he's alone, the only person who still loved him was his grandfather, now deceased, and Jerry lives his old house. I liked Jerry, his controlled "voice" while describing things. I should mention Jerry is the narrator of the story. Then the romance starts and at first it was cute to see how Jerry would be ogling John a lot and apparently it was mutual but of course Jerry wouldn't say that. At this point, first pages, everything seemed to go a good way. But their relationship became intimate soon, I know we're supposed to think they were just lusting for one another for a while but somehow I didn't get that feeling, it felt too fast. And because of that, that little detail of how attracted, how much sexual tension existed between them, how much need they had to know each other better seemed to be lacking...
As the story moves along, the focus almost stops being Jerry and John - their sex scenes seemed to happen at times where, sincerely, they should have been worried about other things - to turn into the issue of John's want to have his nephew and niece with him and not on child services. There is a lot of talk about the situation of Native American children in the system, in some states in particular, and I liked to learn that information but my problem is how that didn't seem to blend well with the romance part. I understand the importance of the subject and how it matters if people talk about it or read about it, but I didn't feel I was reading a romance at this point. It doesn't mean we're reading a treaty on Native American problems or sad facts, but it was something highlighted and despite its importance, it didn't match well with the romance idea. I got the feeling the goal was to present that situation and a romance was the vehicle. Nothing wrong with that, but it changed the mood and the expectations I had in the fictional side of things.
There are some secondary characters playing an important part, but I'll be honest and say I don't feel eager to read more about this series. I assume the same style will continue and I know it won't be memorable.
John and Jerry have interesting qualities, little details about their personal lives and personalities I found I wanted to know more about, but somehow, apart from the expected shows of sympathy, helping others, being concerned, being in love, nothing really key to their characters seemed to come to surface. At least, the way I saw it.
All in all, a good enough effort, I was entertained for a while but despite the fluid writing, the execution just left a lot to be desired in my book. It's just my opinion, most readers on GR seemed to have liked it better than I did.