Title: An Arresting Ride (Survivors Find Love: Book Two)
Author: Lissa Kasey
Length: 234 Pages
At a Glance: With a gentle hand and a compassionate touch, author Lissa Kasey allows us to watch two men who have been broken and who are from very different pasts heal together and find love in the process.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Graham Church began career as a police officer with a case so gruesome it sent many officers into early retirement. That day he helped save the lives of children and began a long crusade of protecting the residents of Friday Harbor from the worst of humanity. But brutal car accidents and the discovery of a dog fighting ring have taken their toll on Graham. Returning to an over-crowded apartment where his room is a closet, and working sixteen-hour shifts, have left him emotionally exhausted and in need of a quiet place to call home.
Jason Wullcot is a horse breeder and a mystery to the island he lives on, but is in need of a roommate for human contact. His therapist recommends Graham Church, who also happens to have a “white knight” syndrome. When Graham discovers his new roommate was one of the children he helped save twelve-years prior, Graham’s need to protect and save kicks into high gear. Only Jason has no interest in being saved. In fact, Graham realizes that Jason may not be the one in need of saving at all, but maybe, just maybe they can fill the broken pieces of each other.
Review: An Arresting Ride by Lissa Kasey is the second in her Survivors Find Love series. Happily, we get to spend a bit more time with Bastien and Charlie from her first novel in this series, and find out more about the wonderful cop who helps Charlie keep an eye on Bastien when Charlie is off battling wildfires. Graham is just an incredibly likeable guy, one that you really wish were real so you could meet him in person and tell him what a kind and generous soul he really seems to be. He makes this story come to life and holds it together even when you are not so sure his love for Jason Wullcot is perhaps the best thing to happen to Graham. At first, I wish I’d liked Jason more, but when I finally realized that his was not the real story here, but rather, the focus was on Graham and his struggle, this novel finally fell into place for me.
You see, like Bastien, Jason has a horrific past filled with abuse that is mind boggling to say the least. But unlike Bastien, Jason has moved beyond the pain. Don’t get me wrong, he is still a victim and struggles with what happened to him, but he has found an inner strength and focus that Bastien had not. So, while this is a survivor’s story, it is actually more Graham who is the focus: his pain; his inability to make sense of all the horrors he has seen while on the job; the senseless accidents that take lives; the very abuse case of which Jason was a part; the arson that destroyed animals and left behind horrible images that haunt Graham; all of these plus his being nearly married to his job have left him hollowed out and in need of someone who can help him make sense of it all. Enter Jason and his need for a roommate.
Initially Jason is a bit of a conundrum, driven to care for the horses he rehabilitates and the veterinary work he does for some clients that leaves him little time to do much else. He barely interacts with Graham, and when he does, it is with reluctance. Graham wants desperately to save Jason but quickly learns that Jason does not consider himself someone who needs to be saved. When an incident at work leaves Graham under suspicion and on leave from the job he both loves and hates, the two men begin to interact more frequently. A tentative friendship develops and quickly morphs into something more. But Graham is determined to make sure that Jason doesn’t just want him sexually, because it is a conditioned first response his past abuse has led him to often do. So, Graham instead builds trust with Jason and in the end, it pays off.
Once again I am struck by how this author delicately handles the idea of abuse and its repercussions on a person’s life. In An Arresting Ride, Lissa Kasey takes it a step further and explores the reactions that so-called “normal” people have to an abuse victim. Through Graham’s own struggles and his attraction to Jason, she gently illustrates how often we assume we know what abuse victims feel, or how they must be fragile and in need just because of their past abuse. She uses Graham as an example of how we must learn to treat each survivor of abuse differently, that there is no cookie cutter pattern to their lives or how they meet the challenges of life after abuse. She also sheds light on how post traumatic stress disorder is not uncommon in those who dedicate their lives to serving others—such as policeman like Graham. With a gentle hand and a compassionate touch, author Lissa Kasey allows us to watch two men who have been broken and who are from very different pasts heal together and find love in the process.
You can buy An Arresting Ride here: