When Jamie walks through the door of the Humane Society, it's not just an animal who needs rescuing that day. Tom is there to adopt another service dog into the Canine Comrade Corps, but it's Jamie his heart goes out to. But each man turns away, walks away, from the potential pain, the rejection, the knowledge that it'll all end in tears....
Jamie knows damn well that the HIV he contracted from an unfaithful lover has put him out of the dating game forever in the small town of Santa Vera. Tom lost his legs in Afghanistan, and got new ones, yeah, but with a side order of PTSD to go, he thought grimly. The real problem is that only now does he realize he's gay, now that the revelation would be just one too many things to put his family through, after everything else they've had to deal with.
So both men grin and bear the loneliness, put their feelings on a shelf, even as Jamie's volunteer stint at CCC turns into friendship and, despite their resolve, something more....
Tom saw Jamie's smile. He's totally relaxed about this. You're getting there. This is going to work out, this is going to be a friendship. I need this. To be with normals again, people who aren't....
Well, the fact was that Jamie wasn't normal, was he? The fact that he had been through what he'd been through, in Tom's mind put him on Tom's side of the world, on the island of broken toys. Someone who could understand, who wasn't one of them, the ones living a life oblivious to suffering, illness, pain.
It's too bad, Jamie thought calmly. If only I didn't have the bug, I could do this, I could...well, at least fantasize realistically about this becoming something. People liked it when you were just a little broken, he knew from experience.
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A Little Too Broken written and narrated by Brad Vance is incredible. I knew immediately after reading the synopsis that this was a book I would enjoy. One man with a military disability, who works with canine helpers and the other who is HIV positive, what a great storyline.
I was hooked from the moment I started the audiobook till the very end. A Little Too Broken is 3.5 hours long. It was so good, I was able to finish within 5 hours of starting it. I would have finished right at the 3.5 hours, if life wouldn't have gotten in the way. The voices fit the characters and the story flowed well. Therefore, it was easy for me to connect with them all and get a good visual of the scenes.
I love both Jamie and Tom. They are such great men who have been dealt a crap hand, but refuse to let the disadvantages own them. Their situations maybe different, but they are both survivors. It's these circumstances that bring Jamie and Tom togethor. They both are instantly attracted to the other. However, both men believe that their issues would be a big downfall for the other so they sidestep the pull it has on them. Jamie and Tom become great friends and share everything. They finally realize that they could have it all if they are willing to take the leap.
When they finally come to terms to take their friendship to the next level, they don't take anytime to hit the sheets. It is both hot and beautiful. Taking this step is scary for both Tom and Jamie, but they trust and love their partner enough to know that it was ok to break down the final barrier. It's the strength that these men possess that I love the most.
The secondary characters are terrific. They offer support, but aren't afraid to give them a little push when needed. Tom’s family is great. I loved their dynamics. It was comical to see how his sister poked at their father when it came to her views verses his. There is a scene at the end with Tom’s dad that is amazing. His dad is kind of a hardass set in his military ways, but this particular part shined a new light on him. It brought me to tears and made me want to just hug them both.
The only complaint that I have has nothing to do with how the book is written or narrated. I felt so much for the characters that I didn't want the book to end.
This may have been the first book that I have read or listened to by Brad Vance, but it wont be the last.
- Sam Jo
Smooth and easy