Title: Love on Life Support

Author: John Charles

Publication Date: Nov 2, 2015

Genre: Contemporary/Romance/Suspense

Length: 113 Pages

Publisher: Manifest Vision Publishing


Matthew Kailen has two rules: 
1. I don’t date guys from work. 
2. I don’t do relationships.

A respected paramedic and the son of a homophobic father, Matthew learned to stay deeply entrenched in the closet for his own protection. He remained under his father’s radar until his sister Meredith and her husband were killed by a drunk driver. When Matthew became the guardian of their two young children, his life got complicated. 

Trent Paleck completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Lake Community Hospital outside of L.A. Despite the abundance of hot surfers and muscle studs, he longed to get back to the east coast. When a position for an Emergency Room doctor became available at Amity Hospital, in Trent’s home town, he jumped at the opportunity to move home. 

Trent never expected to find what he did, when he found himself working alongside Matthew. A reluctant attraction quickly blossoms into something deeper. Can Matthew find in Trent the one thing that will cause him to break his own rules? Is Trent ready to trade in California surfers for the father of two young children? Both men are faced with what appears to be insurmountable challenges when Matthew’s father takes actions to prevent Trent from having the man he wants and Matthew the children he loves. Can they climb over the hurdles to find the love they desire? 




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 Anytime I start reading a book by a new author, to me, I’m always a little apprehensive as to what I will find. Like all the books I read, I want to connect and be pulled into the story. I want to believe what I’m reading and be moved by it.

Love on Life Support, by John Charles, is a book that gave me what I needed. It’s not overly long but the author manages to get a lot of history into the story that gives the reader a visual of the characters; where they came from, where they’ve been, and where they are going.

The two main characters, Trent and Matthew, have a history from years back. They went to the same high school together but were on different playing fields. Matthew was a jock, football star, and in Trent’s eyes…completely untouchable and straight. Trent was the nerd who displayed his rainbow colors in a magnitude of ways for all to see and proud of it.

Trent knew at an early age he was gay. His parents accepted, loved, and supported him 100% therefore never leaving him to doubt where he stood. In school, he was out, loud, and proud, and never backed down in the face of bullies or conflict.

Skip to present day, Trent is a successful ER doctor and has just moved close to home. He’s living with his parents, at the moment, until he can find something of his own. He loves the rush and the fast pace of the emergency room.

When an overdose patient is wheeled into his department he is taken back for a moment when he realizes the paramedic is Matthew.

Matthew…wow! His story will break your heart but uplift you at the same time. His perseverance is astounding and remarkable. He’s had one tragedy after another, it seems, but through it all, he continues to conquer his demons and be the man he needs to be for the two children he now claims as his own.

Running, almost literally, into Trent in the ER has started old feelings to surface.  During high school, he fantasized about Trent but always knew it would never go beyond his own dreams. He kept himself embedded in the closet in order to survive. Where Trent’s family is everything any child could hope for, Matthew’s is the exact opposite. His father is abusive, loud, and a drunk, and his mother lives under her husband’s thumb, afraid to look up.

Back to present day, Matthew no longer hides his sexuality, but he doesn't flaunt it. Matthew and Trent start out on hesitant ground but realize they have something that each have wanted for a long time. It’s not all roses getting there either. Matt is an ass to Trent on more than one occasion and I wasn’t feeling the love for him.

However, Matthew has a lot of demons to overcome, lessons learned from past mistakes will have to be laid to rest in order to give Trent a real chance. But, it’s doable and it’s definitely something they both want for their future. However, Matthew’s father is worse than ever and he has other plans for his son. Will they even get the chance to see where their relationship goes?

John Charles has written a powerful and heartfelt story that will have you smiling from ear to ear one minute and the next, tears will be pouring down your face. The emotions and fear the characters experience are real. The author writes with a wisdom that speaks of inside knowledge and I often wondered if the author knew first hand of what he is describing.

Trent and Matthew’s story is not necessarily a new story-line but there is an originality the author writes with that will keep you invested in the story.

The author’s descriptive narrative has a lot of hospital jargon and at times I would start to think it was a little overkill but then the scene would switch and I would think, okay… we must be on the same wavelength.

Great stories, imo, need strong secondary characters that help to form the whole picture. Grace, the nanny, among so many other roles she takes on is an amazing woman and someone everyone would be fortunate to have in their lives. Without her support, Matthew would be in a world of hurt.

Pat, Matthew’s co-worker and friend is also very supportive. Then there is Shelley, Trent’s co-worker, who I really didn’t like, at all.

I thought she was nosey and put in her two cents when it wasn’t asked for. I think she probably meant well and possibly was only looking out for Matt, but she definitely rubbed me the wrong way. Regardless to how I felt about the characters, I like the fact that the author was able to evoke such strong feelings on my end.

I would definitely recommend this to other readers who love this genre. The author doesn’t shy away from the hard facts nor does he sugar coat the bad times Matt and Trent go through. And, there are some really horrendous moments that will get your blood pressure pumping.

But, more importantly, there are many beautiful moments these two share as they begin their path together. Whether it’s time spent in the bedroom, or out in the open with family, they really have something special and it’s worth reading about.

The writing isn’t perfectly clean, but it didn’t throw me out of the story either like some do. The sex is more or less off page but, again, I really enjoyed the story.

4 Stars from me

ABOUT THE                                    AUTHOR

Through the years I have enjoyed reading gay themed novels.
Initially I read the typical romance - man meets man, falls in love,
and lives through the conflicts that same sex couples faced.

I started writing gay (male/male) themed novels, using my pen name
John Charles and never looked back. I enjoy the romance aspect that
only two men can have. I find developing a character that is passionate
about his life and the life of his lover is a turn on to many readers as
well as to me. So I try to develop that passion in my books and endeavor
to make each character special.

I was hooked when I discovered the gay themed suspense thriller. I couldn't
get enough so I took the next step in my writing career. I began writing gay
themed mystery, action adventures.

The plots in my novels come from real life situations. I have always believed
that real life is more interesting than anything a person could make up. So I
listen, keep my eyes open, and let the world give me the ideas that make my
stories believable and interesting.

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*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the author**