Series: High Rise: Book One
Author: Jayce Ellis
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 240 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance
At a Glance: This novel doesn’t try to be anything but what it is: a love story, a story about living one’s truth, taking chances, and it succeeds at that. I liked Jeremiah and Collin both separately and as a couple. Together they were sexy and sweet and overcame the obstacles to their HEA in a solidly satisfying way.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Jeremiah Stewart’s sexuality is no one’s business. Not that he’s hiding it. When—if—he finds the right one, he’ll absolutely introduce him to Mom. But a late-night brush with a sexy stranger in too much lip gloss has him rethinking nearly everything…
To Collin Galloway, direction is a four-letter word. Sure, he hates his job, he hates living with his parents and he really hates watching everyone move on without him. But he doesn’t know what he wants to do, long-term, and he won’t figure it out by thirsting over Jeremiah, the superhot, superintense paramedic who is suddenly everywhere Collin looks.
When Jeremiah’s faced with losing all he’s worked so hard to build, he reluctantly accepts Collin’s help. They’re both determined to stay professional…which works about as well as either would imagine. But Collin only does closets with clothes, and Jeremiah has to decide if he’s finally found the one worth bringing home to Mom.
Review: Jeremiah Stewart is a man whose career, and life, have come to a crossroads. He’s a paramedic, and an excellent one too, but a merger with a new company means the potential for layoffs and in spite of his seniority, there’s no guarantee his position is secure. So he has a decision to make—stick around and hope he avoids the chopping block, or take the severance package being offered and embark on a different career path. As for the moment of truth on the personal front, Jeremiah is faced with a family he loves, a mom he respects and loves dearly…but he’s not out to any of them but his baby sister, Storm. Coming out to his family is a bridge Jeremiah’s never come to, let alone had to cross, because he’s never met anyone he’s wanted to come out for and risk possibly losing those he holds dear. That is, until he meets Collin Galloway.
This novel doesn’t launch with a punch or a dramatic hook. The opening is fairly tame, as a matter of fact, considering it takes place in a strip club. Jeremiah’s there with his best friend, Chucky—I loved me some Chucky—and Chucky’s girlfriend, Veronica. Jeremiah coming back home that night, however, gives way to the setup of his and Collin’s inauspicious first meeting in the elevator of Jeremiah’s apartment building, but it doesn’t end with them hooking up let alone bonding in a meaningful way. The attraction is there, no doubt, but it’s a case of bad timing and Collin being in the wrong headspace for anything remotely warm or welcoming or accepting of Jeremiah’s obvious interest. So they go about their lives but eventually end up being thrown together again, and again it doesn’t end well, but finally they come together in a secondary meet-cute sort of way, which gives way to the heat and some dirty, flirty discourse that makes it obvious their chemistry is totally in sync. But even still, Jeremiah and Collin had some things to work through to make sure they were both on the same page.
Jayce Ellis took her time with this romance, and I appreciated that. This would’ve been a very different book if Jeremiah and Collin had moved at a faster pace, if Ellis had rushed them into sex or a relationship before they’d first cleared up a few things, most especially since Jeremiah suspected that Collin had a boyfriend and was coming on to him anyway. Far from the convenient Big Misunderstanding, though, this was an honest assumption on Jeremiah’s part, based on the evidence he’d seen. But Ryan is not Collin’s boyfriend, he’s Collin’s bestie and they’re generous with their affection, so the mistake worked to keep things neutral until Jeremiah and Collin were ready to move forward naturally.
This novel doesn’t try to be anything but what it is: a love story, a story about living one’s truth, taking chances, and it succeeds at that. Jeremiah is a story about the everyday complications of people doing their best just to live their best lives. Jeremiah and Collin both have family histories that play a role in their character building and the way their relationship grows. Jeremiah faces blatant homophobia from his own brother while Collin is more an inconvenient reminder to his wealthy parents that they are, in fact, his parents. The familial tension added to the job changes for both men mixed in with some uncertainty on Collin’s part, particularly in his friendship with the two most important people in the world to him, Lisbeth and Ryan, ups the drama factor. This isn’t a lighthearted read, but in the end, I liked Jeremiah and Collin both separately and as a couple. Together they were sexy and sweet and overcame the obstacles to their HEA in a solidly satisfying way.
You can buy Jeremiah here:
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