Authors: Jaime Samms and Sarah Masters
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Length: 145 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
At a Glance: Nurture is a great collaboration between Jaime Samms and Sarah Masters but won’t be for everyone, as it delves into abuse and abusive relationships in an honest way.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Nature versus nurture. Which one is the culprit?
It’s been a while since Paul fell for Carl, and now he’s having a hard time remembering why. As their relationship slides beyond aggressive into dangerous and frightening, Paul wants a way out that doesn’t involve more violence. How can he leave a man who swears to God he loves him beyond all reason—and has almost convinced him of it?
To Carl, a bit of rough sex doesn’t even touch the tip of violent. The twisted path he follows to show Paul the true depths of the love he nurtures for him will lead them far from where they thought life would take them. Carl will do anything to make Paul understand how much he cares. Anything.
When Paul is hauled to the police station for crimes he didn’t commit, only police investigator Victor stands between him and the complete disintegration of his life. But Vic is the cop who arrested him, and he knows way more than any stranger ought to about the details of Paul’s life.
Caught between the man he thought he loved and one who might be stalking him, Paul is due to learn some serious lessons about the nature of trust, friendship, and what love—twisted or not—is really capable of.
Reader Advisory: This book contains strong violence, mentions of childhood abuse, domestic abuse, and scenes some readers may be uncomfortable with/triggered by.
Review: Paul and Carl have been in a relationship for a while now, but as time has gone on it’s become toxic. Neither, however, can seem to let go. When Carl becomes enraged, he takes violence to a new level, and in the aftermath, Paul has a decision to make—to leave his own apartment and his life with Carl behind him. When Paul discovers that Carl has taken his wallet, Paul is left without the means to get a hotel room. Luckily for him, his friend Brian shows up and offers Paul a place to stay, but Paul has concerns about Brian’s partner, Lillian.
Victor Bradley is a police officer and a good to friend to Lillian. Vic was Lillian’s deceased brother’s partner on the force, and he’s currently in the midst of the murder investigation of five gay men. When Victor shows up at Brian’s apartment, after yet another murder, and is introduced to Paul, there’s a sense of recognition, and Vic immediately places Paul under arrest… A key piece of evidence places Paul at the scene of the latest murder.
As Paul’s innocence is proven, he and Vic become better acquainted, but Paul struggles with his self-worth. He’s not able to see why someone, anyone, would be interested in him, and he still tries to reach out to Carl even though it puts his own and his friends’ lives in danger. Carl has concocted a devious plan that guarantees Paul’s return to him.
Nurture is a great collaboration between Jaime Samms and Sarah Masters. It’s a psychological thriller with a dark storyline about domestic abuse and abusive relationships, and won’t be a novel for everyone: it’s violent and descriptive and delves into abuse in an honest way. It explores the struggle to let go even when you know someone is not healthy for you, and reveals Paul’s emotional state in his reminiscing about Carl the way he’d been when they first met. Even though we know who the murderer is, it makes the story more twisted because we never know their next move. Readers also are privy to the killer’s thoughts and him looking back on his life and how he got to this point.
You can buy Nurture here: