Favorites of 2016 • "Recap" • Day 8 • Resurrection by S. Davidson + Giveaway

For the month of December, MM Book Escape, will be posting a recap of the books that TOOK ME AWAY. They are in no particular order and if you enter the giveaway and give me your favorite book of the year, or at least one that left an impact, and the book you've been dying to read, I will gift that book to you, plus the $10 Amazon gift card.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading from MM Book Escape!!

Resurrection
By S. Davidson

His war has just begun. 

James (Jamie) Massey has been raised in a strict military household and grew up with the sole purpose of becoming a soldier. He never imagined the heartache his choices in love and war would weigh on his soul, and when he loses everything, he can’t imagine ever being happy again. 

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Chris Baker
grew up in a small town, raised on the rodeo circuit. When he met Ben, he thought he’d live blissfully every after, but things have a way of not going along as planned. Chris, devastated by his loss, was barely hanging on. 

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When Jamie and Chris end up in the same small town diner, it can only be credited to divine intervention. But are both men too damaged? They say God works in mysterious ways. Well, he certainly had his hands full when he chose these two for saving. 

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Is it too late? 

Triggers: Deals with PTSD, death, and realistic wartime violence

Goodreads

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Review

Resurrection is told in three parts with each part telling a story of its own. Part one is about Jamie Massey, the obedient son, the soldier, and the war hero. Part two tells the life of Chris Baker, another obedient son, but with a completely different home life, a champion bull rider, a devoted husband and caretaker, and part three brings Jamie and Chris together. This story covers a time-frame of approximately 25 – 30 years.

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From the first page the reader feels the tension of Jamie’s father and the presence he has over him. He’s a high ranking officer in the military and he’s raised his son under the same rules and regulations he uses on the field. He’s homophobic, racist, and an overall bastard that has no problem running his household with an iron fist.

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The story chronicles Jamie’s life as he goes off to college, finds his first real boyfriend, Derrick and then onto basic training in the Army. He’s always known his plan was the military and ultimately Delta Force so even though he has a relationship with Derrick it’s something that must remain secret- at all times.

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The author establishes a timeline within the chapters so it was easy to follow along as Jamie gets deployed, sometimes for a few months, sometimes for a year, and then he comes back and he may have to transfer to another base, sometimes even a new state.

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Most of the story reflects on Jamie and what he’s going through, but the author keeps us in the loop with Derrick so we are developing an attachment with him as we go along. The same for Jamie’s buddies in the military that’s on his team, or his Sergeant. These are all people who have meaning and relevance in Jamie’s life and who he calls his family. They all will have great importance throughout the story.

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Part two takes us to the life and times of Chris Baker. He lives on a ranch with two loving parents who have always known he was gay and supports him in every way. He’s a champion bull rider in the young teen division and even though he loves the rodeo, he wants to go to college and be an architecture.

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Being away from home is quite the experience for Chris but he’s loving college life and as soon as he sees Ben across from where he’s working at a restaurant he’s completely smitten. Chris and Ben have a love at first sight relationship that lasted for many years.

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Just like with part one, the author chronicles Chris and Ben’s life together through college, after they graduate, getting jobs and making life commitments.

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As the blurb says, both Jamie and Chris are devastated by loss. Each with their own tragedy and complications, both are shown how cruel life can be, how obstacles seem insurmountable alone, and that it’s okay to reach for help.

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Part three brings together two men who have experienced more death and destruction in their lifetime than any man should have too. Jamie is a man who has pushed his body and mind to the absolute limit for his country, a war hero, over and over, and now a disabled veteran on the verge of pulling the trigger any minute.

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The pain and anguish and the nightmares/flashbacks he endures, day after day, is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching and the author translates that clearly, in my opinion. The reader, also, has a ringside seat to PTSD and what soldiers go through, usually alone, after their time is over in the military. It’s a cruel reality and the author didn’t sugarcoat any of it.

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Chris contemplates putting an end to his turmoil just like Jamie although they are on completely different spectrum's, but all it takes is one look at each other and they recognize that distant lost look in each other that they see in the mirror each day.

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They start out with a tentative friendship, both leery of each other, but the more they open up with each other the more they come to understand how much they have in common and how much they have suffered similar circumstances. Their relationship is a slow-build and it’s a work in progress with a lot of rehabilitation still a necessity for Jamie but with Chris by his side, he’s no longer alone.

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Resurrection started out slow and I even considered putting it down and starting a different book. I wasn’t sure I was going to connect with the author’s writing style and/or plot, for that matter. By Chapter Two, I was getting into the rhythm of the story and by Chapter Three I didn’t lay the book down until the end.

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I was completely consumed by this story, I was doing the ugly cry at one point, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s not an easy read. As a matter of fact, it’s pretty hard to get through in a lot of places. There’s a lot of death, pain, anguish, turmoil and extreme angst that was very palpable but what kept me reading were the parts that had me smiling from ear to ear, the joy they share with each other, and the promise of a future together.

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They have some knock down drag out fights but they never hold a grudge with each other and their make up sex was pretty awesome. It's rough and aggressive and for the first time it’s something that both partners want and enjoy and it’s hot and intense. It’s raw and feels very right. It’s an incredible story of redemption and perseverance, fighting demons and winning and opening your heart to love more than once.

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S. Davidson is a new author with Resurrection being her first published book and even though there’s always room for growth and improvement I thought it was a remarkable story and I’ll definitely be reading more from her in the future.

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Giveaway