An Auckland Med. Story
What if you’ve worked your whole life for a dream, to play rugby for the most successful sports team on the planet, the New Zealand All Blacks?
What if that dream is so close you can smell it?
What if you meet someone?
What if you fall in love?
What if your dream will cost the man who’s stolen your heart?
And what if the dream changes?
Reuben Taylor has a choice to make.
Cameron Wano is that choice.
Loved, loved, loved this painful-sweet-sad-amazing tale. Reuben, Cory and Cam will steal your heart.
This seems to be the author’s first published book, and wow, what a book – even before I’d finished it, I was nosing to see if a couple of the side characters had had a tale of their own that I’d missed, as even they sounded great! I loved that Jay Hogan was bold enough to have Reuben as a member of the All Blacks (I ended up having to Google, as I didn’t realise that this was the NZ national team, and got a bit confused how he could be playing for the Blues as well as the All Blacks), which is possibly *the* best known rugby team in the world, and, she totally pulled it off. Reuben was a huge guy, but one of the sweetest, gentlest leads I’ve read about, until people he loved got threatened. I loved how he took down a bully, and yeah, it brought back memories because of the ‘tools’ the bully used, that younger-me didn’t quite have the same ammo to deal with. And, Cam? Well, he was a little bit fab, a little bit wonderful, a little bit surprising and a lot amazing, and one of the nicest guys I’ve read about. He and Reuben in theory shouldn’t have worked, but OMG, did they!!
The blurb tells you pretty much what happens in this book and from the start, I knew there’d be heartache. But, the author did it really well. She didn’t give us a done-before coming out tale, and she didn’t give us leads who gave each other ultimatums. There was no one-upmanship between them; they were equally strong as leads. They knew it wouldn’t be sweetness and light, and that they’d have to be a couple in private and friends in public, and both guys tried hard to make it work, but… there was outside interference, manipulation and emotional blackmail that ended up breaking them up.
I loved this book, but there were moments of real heartache involving Reuben’s family. A family of losers, unfortunately, and, then there was little Cory. I won’t say too much about him to avoid Spoilering, but what a sweet kid and what a tough time he’d had. I loved how Reuben was there for him, knew how to take care of him and was his father in all but name. And then to read how Cam interacted with Cory, and what he did for the kid? Well, just add another string to Cam’s bow and to his fab’ness – the guy can pretty much do no wrong in my book.
I suspect, too, that the author added a little realism with one character’s use of drugs and alcohol, as this is the second book set in NZ that I’ve read this month with the same demons coming up, which actually made me read up on the country’s issues. But, here the character’s actions, I think, were a cry for help, though they could have had devastating consequences for himself and Cory. And, JH made the character’s issues entirely organic, made him very plausibly flawed, so I believed in the whys and hows of what/who he was, and boy did I wish that the villain of the piece had gotten more of a comeuppance.
The tale ends with the leads in a great place, and with their future bright, and with the flawed guy getting the help he so needed, and with the villain removed from all of their lives. And, it seems that this is ‘An Auckland Med’ book, meaning, I hope, that there will be more in the series – Cam works in the local hospital and one of Reuben’s teammates outs himself to him in support, and, there’s a bible basher type who seems just a little too much of a hater for someone so young… so yeah, I hope there’s more, because no doubt we’ll be seeing Cam, Cory and Reuben living their HEA as a family.
I’ll say it again – I loved this book!
ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.
Jay Hogan is a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, romantic suspense and fantasy. She has travelled extensively and has lived in quite a few countries. She has a BA degree in Nursing and in Theology, and in another life, she was an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Lecturer.
She is a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). She loves to cook- pretty damn good, loves to sing – pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing -absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging her characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee she’s had.
She has complex boys telling stories in her head that demand attention and a considerable number of words to go with them. Their journeys are never straightforward and even surprise Jay. She does her best to plot things out ahead of time but those pesky characters seem to have a mind of their own. Go figure.
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