Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Published July 10th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press

Three years undercover with one of the worst gangs in the country left FBI agent Joshua Chastain shattered. Battling nightmares and addiction, he leaves the concrete jungle for New Mexico horse country, hoping to start over on his uncle’s ranch.

Foreman Eli Kelly spends his life rehabilitating abused animals, and Joshua is just another lost soul. But as Joshua slowly begins to put his life back together, Eli realizes that Joshua is a lot more than his newest project.

Joshua’s plan seems to work—maybe a fresh start was just what he needed. Then, just when he has finally found a sense of peace, crime and hatred nearly destroy all his hard work, forcing him to reevaluate what he wants out his relationship with Eli and his own life.

Oh, this was good! Better than good in fact.

I love cowboys but I hate addiction in romance novels. Addiction is such a downer as a plot and not only that, knowing that Joshua was a heroin addict made me leap ahead to statistical facts where no one can deny that heroin addiction is not only hard to get off of, but darned bad stats regarding full recovery. Most times, the addict will go back to the heroin. The body's receptors just go plain crazy on the craving.

Joshua going to a place where it is hard to get hold of the drug or others of its kind is a good start though for this makes it easier for him to recover and find romance. That and the fact that the approach of the author, Rowan Speedwell, was to include the guilt, the craving, the extremely low self-esteem and even lower self-worth in the story was enough to keep my interest. She did not bother to gloss over the harsh realities of what Joshua was going through and will continue to go through. That is the stark reality of this kind of addiction so no rose colored lenses here. Joshua will continue to be having problems with his recovery from addiction and Eli is there to give him the firmness he needs and craves.

Eli is a beautiful character. I loved him more than I did Joshua for the obvious reasons. He is patient, considerate, loving and human. So even if there were some stumbles along the way, it is due to Eli that their relationship worked.

Ms. Speedwell also included a lovely array of supporting characters, from the cat, to the horse, all the way to Seraphina who cracked me up when she placed that bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and declared everyone is to eat healthy from that time forward. Oooh, and just when I got out my pan and did some cooking of some of the dishes she prepared!

I really enjoyed this read for it was not all angsty-recovering-addict-guilt-ridden-cowboy romance. There was a bit of great action worthy of Miami Vice, too.

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