Title: Signs of Life by Melanie Hansen
Resilient Love Series Book Two
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Erotic Romance
Length: 234 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Blog Blog Tour Company
A Resilient Love Story
Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all—a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.
High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids—he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.
An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.
Signs of Life is a poignant, heartwarming and scorching hot romance. Although it is the second installment in Melanie Hansen’s Resilient Love series, it can be read as a standalone.
Jeremy Speer is incredibly happy when his life takes an unexpectedly tragic turn. Unable to cope with his deep sorrow, he goes down a very dark and pain-filled road but once he finally hits rock bottom, his best friend Jase DeSantis is there to help him turn his life around. Two long and lonely years later, Jeremy is still picking up the pieces of his life when he has a one night stand with Kai Dainels. Surprised by the heartrending memories this encounter stirs up, Jeremy abruptly abandons Kai but a surprising twist of fate brings the two men a few months later. With their attraction for one another burning hotter than ever, Jeremy and Kai agree to a friends with benefits arrangement that soon transitions into something deeper. After suffering such a shattering loss will Jeremy open his heart to the possibility of love?
Jeremy is slow to recover from his loss and he is sometimes his own worst enemy. Meeting Kai is just what he needs to jump start his life but Jeremy is not in any rush to make big changes. He is finally getting his professional life back on track but he is still very hesitant to step out of his self-imposed isolation. An act of vandalism shakes him up and sets the stage for his unanticipated reunion with Kai. Still not ready to open himself up to further hurt, Jeremy is honest about not wanting an emotional entanglement but his relationship with Kai provides him with startling insight into just how far he has come in the past few years.
Kai is caring, compassionate and so bighearted it is impossible not to like him. He has come a long way from his dysfunctional and troubled youth and now a teacher for at risk teenagers, he hopes that he can be a positive influence in their lives. Kai has also had his fair share of heartache but his good Loren helped him overcome the abuse in his past. Their friendship has become a bit of a crutch for both men but neither of them realize this until Kai’s relationship with Jeremy goes through a bit of a rough spot.
The first chapter in the novel is full of gut wrenching and tear-inducing angst. Thankfully, by the second chapter, the worst of the heartbreak is over and Jeremy is truly moving on with his life. His first interlude with Kai is dirty and raunchy and it takes him totally off guard since he has never had sex like that in his life. Their down and dirty, no holds barred sex continues and their sex scenes remain blistering hot and plentiful for the rest of the novel.
Jeremy and Kai’s no strings arrangement progresses naturally into a real relationship. This shift is gradual and although Jeremy is still reluctant to risk his heart again, he does not let his fears hold him back. Despite his occasional annoyance, Kai is very understanding of Jeremy’s anxiety over his safety. But this also leads to Kai trying to protect Jeremy from further upset and this leads to tension in their relationship. This conflict is resolved fairly quickly with very little angst or unnecessary drama.
Signs of Life is a wonderful novel of healing and love. The characters are superbly developed, multi-faceted and likeable despite their flaws and imperfections. The storyline is complex and Melanie Hansen strikes the perfect balance between heartache, incredibly hot sex and genuine emotion. A wonderful addition to the Resilient Love series that old and new fans are sure to love.