I wanted to know what happened when two people felt it. Would it divide the hurt in two, make it lighter to bear, the way feeling someone’s joy seemed to double it? – Sue Monk Kidd, “The Secret Life of Bees”
It was almost a year and a half ago that I first read When Love is Not Enough and the story has never been far from my mind. This is a beautifully written contemporary coming-of-age novel. My heart broke for Jamie/Jimmy. He never intended to have a double life. Trouble at home and at school, along with the pressure of keeping secrets for his best friend became too much for him to stand.
Jamie was unable to see that the love in his life was enough. If only he had been able to find a way to bring the two halves of his life together, his part in this story would not have ended so soon. His tragic and irrevocable decision sets up the possibility of a relationship between the two halves of his double life. I am looking forward to seeing how Wade Kelly develops this potential relationship in the next installment of this “Unconditional Love” series.
Jamie leaves behind journals through which Matt (his closeted best friend) and Darien (his lover) search for answers regarding Jamie’s life and death. These two young men, who were integral parts of Jamie’s double life, knew nothing of each other’s existence before Jamie died. Each initially has trouble believing and accepting the other’s relationship with Jamie. They cling to each other while trying to make sense out of what they are finding out about Jamie and how very different it is from what they both thought they knew. Through their searching, something begins to grow between them. Something that starts as friendship but quickly grows into much deeper feelings.
I loved that Wade Kelly didn’t give us an insta-love special. It would have been impossible for even me (absolutely the world’s most hopeless romantic) to suspend disbelief long enough to believe that these young men, one who is deeply closeted and mourning the loss of his best friend, another grieving the death of his lover, would have been capable of loving one another so soon. It is much more realistic to read that there is the possibility of more for them as their relationship develops and they resolve their own feelings and process their grief over Jamie’s suicide. They first need to find out the entire story of Jamie/Jimmy’s life and death before they can begin to examine the feelings growing between them.
A HFN ending is good for me as long as I know there is a HEA coming eventually. I know Wade is trying his damndest to get the sequel published. I, for one, cannot wait to see where he takes us next on the emotional rollercoaster he has created with these characters! Make sure your lap bar is securely fastened…
I am happy to say that the sequel to When Love is Not Enough, The Cost of Loving, is being published by Dreamspinner Press later this year.
Reviewed by: Tina